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Arrest Made In Shooting Of Two Officers In Ferguson, Police Say

Jeffrey Williams, 20, is charged with two counts of first-degree assault in connection with the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson on March 12.

Updated at 3:45 p.m.

The St. Louis County Police Department says an arrest has been made in connection with the shooting of two officers during a protest in Ferguson, Mo., last week.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch identified the suspect who has been charged in the shooting as 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams. Williams has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, among other things, he said. McCulloch said the arrest was made following information provided by members of the public.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Williams, who was arrested at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, is African-American. The race of the two officers has not yet been released.

Reporter Camille Phillips tweeted from the news conference. Her twitter stream is embedded below:

As we reported last week, the two officers were shot shortly after midnight on March 12, as a protest outside the police station began to wind down. One of the officers was from St. Louis County; the other from nearby Webster Groves, Mo.

The 32-year-old Webster Groves officer, a five-year veteran of the force, was struck once in the face. The 41-year-old St. Louis County officer, a 14-year veteran of the force, was struck once in the shoulder. Both officers were later released from the hospital.

The family of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man shot dead in Ferguson by a white police officer last August, called the shootings "senseless." Attorney General Eric Holder called it "inexcusable and repugnant."

In a statement today, Holder said:

"This arrest sends a clear message that acts of violence against our law enforcement personnel will never be tolerated. ... In the days ahead, we will continue to partner with the authorities in St. Louis County to secure justice for all those affected by this heinous and cowardly crime. And we will continue to stand vigilant in support of public safety officers and the communities they serve."

Ferguson has been the focus of protests, some of them violent, after Brown's death, which also resulted in a national conversation about race.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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