Moody Sgt. Stephen Williams was laid to rest Monday morning. Nearly 1,000 mourners gathered to remember and celebrate the life of Williams who was slain in the line of duty on June 2.
Williams was killed responding to a 911 call to the Super 8 motel on Moody Parkway. Tapero Corlene Johnson, 27, and Marquisha Annissa Tyson, 28, of Birmingham are charged with capital murder and are being held without bond in the St. Clair County Jail.
The funeral was held at First Baptist Church in Moody and was attended by law enforcement from around the state. As part of his work with Humanizing the Badge, a nonprofit group that provides support for first responders and focuses on community service projects, Williams wrote a letter in 2015 in event of his death.
The letter read:
Don’t cry for me for the life that I lost but smile for me for the life that I lived
Don’t cry for me because I’m gone but smile for me because I’m here.
Don’t cry for me because I was taken too young but smile for me because my life was full and my heart was full with love for each of you.
Don’t cry for me because I won’t see any more Sunday family dinner gatherings, but smile for me because now I have wings.
Don’t cry for me because you won’t see me anymore but smile for me because I am free of the pain and misery of this world.
Don’t cry for me thinking of the dreams we had that won’t come true or the plans we had that we won’t start or finish, but smile for the good times we had, the laughs that we shared and the love that I had for all of you.
Please don’t cry for me. I’ve lived and loved on principles such as truth, honor and courage.
Don’t cry for me because I made the sacrifice I might have to make, and I accepted that risk anyway.
Don’t cry for me. I was proud to be a part of something special and something amazing and I am confident I made a difference in the lives of those who needed me.
Don’t cry for me because I have the most incredible wife and the most incredible family. My brothers and sisters in blue, I love you all. Smile for me for I am in a new place and it is beautiful, where there is no hurting, and no crying and no suffering. I am welcome here and I finally get to rest.
You see I am no longer on watch but know that I am watching over you. And I’ll be smiling because I love you still.
Williams was born and raised in Mississippi and, after graduating from Mississippi State, served his country in the U.S. Air Force. Williams was a 23-year law enforcement veteran serving in Bessemer, Alabaster and Calera before going the Moody Police Department in 2017. He will be remembered for his love of the community, teaching young police officers and being a husband and father.
His sons pinned lieutenant bars on Williams body Sunday after Moody Police Chief Thomas Hunt promoted Williams to Lieutenant posthumously.
Williams was also the recipient of the Kevin Turner Officer of the Year award. “Stephen was a police officer, but before that he was a human being that cared and loved others, and he set the standard that law enforcement will strive to meet as they move forward,’’ the obituary reads.
Following the funeral, a processional of hundreds of police vehicles with flashing blue lights followed the hearse and family members past mourners waving flags along Highway 411. Two fire trucks raised an American flag in the air for the procession to drive under.