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William Watson, Jr., 40
St. Louis, Missouri
February 26, 2018

Agencies: St. Louis County Police Department Missouri

Last updated: 6 months ago

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Accordingly to police, William Watson Jr. was shot and killed Monday February 26, 2018 by police after he opened fire on members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force who went to arrest him. A police officer was apparently hit in his bullet-resistant vest.

Members of the task force returned fire, and the fugitive retreated Monday morning. He was later found dead near a carport. A St. Louis County police spokesman said it appeared Watson died from shots fired by officers but emphasized the investigation was in the early stages.

The eight-member task force first went to the home in the 10300 block of Durness Drive about 10 a.m. to arrest William Watson Jr., 40, after he failed to show up for sentencing in a felony domestic assault case, authorities said. He was also wanted by St. Louis County police for questioning in connection with an Oct. 23 shooting.

When the task force arrived in bullet-resistant vests labeled “Police,” Watson was in his front yard, wearing an armor-plated vest, according to St. Louis County police. The agency is handling the investigation.

They announced they were there to arrest him, and Watson opened fire on the task force, authorities said. One of the officers was hit in the vest by a shot or shrapnel.

He was alert and talking after the shooting, according to Marshals Service spokesman Patrick James. He was taken to a hospital as a precaution but was later released. “We’re very, very lucky today,” James said.

Both the injured officer and another officer returned fire.

Task force members lost sight of Watson, but believed he had been hit, according to James. They weren’t sure whether he was within the home or hidden on the property, which included a carport and “junk” in the yard, James said.

Police surrounded the property and called in a SWAT team. The tactical team approached the property around noon and found Watson dead in the area of the carport. A gun was found, but it was not immediately clear what kind.

Jennifer Watson showed up at the scene while police had the home surrounded and said she was William Watson’s sister.

She said police wouldn’t let her go try to coax her brother out. At first she was concerned William Watson’s young daughter might be inside, but that appeared to not be the case. No one else was in the house, according to police.