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Cops: Fireman Confesses to Shooting

March 11, 2000

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ A firefighter has confessed to killing his new bride, setting her home on fire and fatally shooting two colleagues and a sheriff’s deputy called to the scene.

Fredrick Williams, 41, was charged Friday with murder, attempted murder and arson. He was under guard at a hospital, where he was in stable condition from gunshot wounds.

``We have a statement of admission from Fredrick Williams that he committed these acts of his own hand,″ Police Director Walter Crews said at a news conference.

Crews wouldn’t comment on the motive for Wednesday’s spree, but detailed the sequence of events.

He said it began when Williams’ wife of three weeks, Stacey Williams, arrived home from her letter carrier job and was killed in the kitchen with a 12-gauge shotgun. Williams then set fire to a back bedroom, Crews said.

About 10 minutes later, Deputy Rupert Peete, who was on his way to a theft call, was flagged down by a passer-by reporting a fire and an armed man. Williams allegedly came out of the house and fired a shot through Peete’s windshield, hitting the deputy in the head.

Deborah Gatewood, the passerby, was shot in the face and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

A minute later, the first fire truck arrived. The firemen apparently could not see Peete’s wrecked squad car and did not know he had been shot.

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