Police Officer Don Williams

End of Watch Thursday, January 29, 1998

memphis police association fallen officers_0004_Don Williams

Police Officer Don Williams

Officer Don Williams died on January 29, 1998, from wounds he suffered on December 26, 1997. 

While he was moonlighting as a security guard at a local comedy club, a man who he had ejected earlier in the evening, returned and opened fire. The suspect shot Officer Williams at point-blank range with an unknown caliber handgun. The round passed through Officer Williams’ neck, severed his spinal column and left him paralyzed. He was admitted to the hospital in critical but stable condition. 

The suspect was convicted and sentenced to death. However, he was granted a retrial in April 2012 which ended in a hung jury. He agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and was released from prison in May of 2013. 

On January 28, 2016, the suspect was convicted of attempted second-degree murder, numerous weapons charges, and sentenced to life. The convictions were the result of an incident two years earlier in Memphis where he shot at a rival and hit a 14-year-old boy wounding him seriously. 

Officer Williams is survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age: 38
  • Tour:16 years
  • Badge: 872

Incident Details

  • Cause: Gunfire
  • Incident: Date Friday, December 26, 1997
  • Weapon: Handgun
  • Offender: Released in 2013