Cornelius Williams Jr.
Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office
Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Alabama attempted murder suspect captured in metro Atlanta

It took Atlanta-based federal agents just hours to find and arrest a man wanted on four charges of attempted murder after he fired on police in Birmingham, Ala., an agency spokesman said Wednesday.

Officers of the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force captured Cornelius Williams Jr., 34, Tuesday in College Park, spokesman Eric Heinze said.

Ten task force members found Williams outside a motel on Old National Highway, Heinze said.

The arrest came “four to six hours” after the task force learned that authorities in Alabama were seeking Williams, according to Heinze.

“For a crime that’s serious in nature, we try to arrest an individual as quickly as possible,” Heinze said.

The ordeal began about 3:30 a.m. Sunday when an off-duty officer reported shots fired, according to Williams left the area at a high rate of speed, responding officers said.

The officers saw his car stop, and he got out of the vehicle with a rifle, police said. Williams began to shoot at officers, and one managed to return fire before he left the scene, according to police.

Investigators then learned Williams was headed to Atlanta, and they reached out to the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. They contacted their counterpart in Georgia. 

The marshals began checking out hotels and other areas in metro Atlanta when they saw the suspect's vehicle in the College Park area.

Williams was with “an associate,” who was not charged, Heinze said. No weapon was recovered.

Williams was taken into custody without incident. He is in the Fulton County Jail awaiting transfer to Birmingham.

Williams is also charged with two counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of certain persons prohibited from possessing a firearm, police said.

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