Anti-government shooting suspect Byron Williams has been charged with allegedly opening fire on police officers on Interstate 580 in Oakland, California, while on his way to “start a revolution” by attacking members of the ACLU.
Williams was charged yesterday with “four counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, one count of unlawful possession of controlled ammunition and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was also charged with two gun enhancements and a body armor enhancement for each attempted murder charge,” according to reports.
On Sunday morning, the 45-year-old Williams was reportedly pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on Interstate 580 for driving erratically, at which point he allegedly engaged in a gunfight with a dozen officers — during which he was seriously wounded. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
Police say he then initiated a chaotic, 12-minute gunbattle with officers, firing a 9mm handgun, a .308-caliber rifle and a shotgun. He reloaded his weapons when he ran out of ammunition and stopped only after officers shot him in areas of his body not covered by his bullet-resistant vest, authorities said.
Williams appeared in court yesterday in a wheelchair and with his right hand bandaged.
Police now say that Williams, an unemployed carpenter, told them that “his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU,” according to court documents.
The ACLU aims to defend civil liberties, and the Tides Foundation partners with nonprofits “dedicated to lasting progressive social change.”
Williams’ mother has said her unemployed son was upset by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.”
Williams faces the possibility of life in prison without the chance of parole if convicted, as this charge constitutes his third strike under the state’s Three Strikes rule. He has multiple prior convictions: twice for bank robbery, and a string of convictions in Washington state that “include theft, assault, property destruction, drunken driving and hit-and-run,” according to the Mercury News.
Williams is being held without bail. Read our first report on Williams here.