The 18-year-old son of an Alabama Deputy shot and killed an Alabama sheriff Saturday, sparking a massive manhunt which ended with the suspect surrendering.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams Sr., known affectionately as “Big John” for his towering height, was shot and killed Saturday night at a gas station in Hayneville, about 25 miles southwest of Montgomery. After a manhunt that lasted close to four hours, the teen suspect William Chase Johnson returned to the crime scene and surrendered himself.

Officers confiscated a gun from Johnson when he turned himself in. Authorities said that the sheriff was responding to the gas station owner’s call to help disperse a crowd that was hanging out in the parking lot. Williams was shot when he approached a pickup to enquire about the loud music.

Sheriff Williams is the fifth law enforcement officer from Alabama who was killed in the line of duty. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Authorities continued the investigation into the crime scene on Sunday. Only a few details about the shooting were released by the police. The inquiry is being led by the State Bureau of Investigation.

“Big John” had served for more than 40 years in the local law enforcement. According to Sgt. Steve Jarrett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Williams was an outstanding sheriff and a great friend.

“If any of you knew Big John Williams, he was a wonderful man. Everybody in law enforcement knew him. If you ever met him, you'd never forget him," Jarrett said. “He worked 24/7 and was an outstanding sheriff.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said on Twitter that she was saddened by the death of sheriff Williams.

“I’m saddened to hear about Sheriff Big John Williams, who was tragically killed this evening in the line of duty. Through his service to our country in the @USMC and his many years working in law enforcement, he dedicated his life to keeping other people safe,” she tweeted.

Williams was elected as a Democratic sheriff in 2010 after he served as a chief deputy sheriff of Lowndes County in south Alabama for a decade.

“Tonight, Alabama mourns the loss of another law enforcement officer in the line of duty,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in his statement. “Sheriff Williams devoted his life to law enforcement. He gave more than 40 years to public safety in his home county, serving the last 9 years as Lowndes County Sheriff. His dedication and experience are irreplaceable.”

Johnson is still being questioned by the police and charges have not been filed against him. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday at 10 a.m.

“Details as to how he fled the scene and reappeared at the scene, all that’s going to be investigated,” Jarrett said referring to Johnson.

Johnson was arrested on charges of possessing brass knuckles and being a minor in possession of alcohol in August. However, the charges against him were dismissed, reported.

crime scene
Representational image Getty Images/Jonathan Alcorn