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Man sentenced to 22 years in prison for deadly shooting outside funeral in 2020

Darius Houston was shot and killed while at a funeral in St. Louis in 2020. Nearly three years later, the man responsible for his death was sentenced.

ST. LOUIS — A north St. Louis county man will spend more than two decades in prison after a 20-year-old was gunned down at a funeral service in 2020. 

Alan Williams, 41, of Woodson Terrace, was sentenced to 22 years in prison after reaching a plea deal in the death of 20-year-old Darius Houston. Williams pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree assault and second-degree murder, reduced from first-degree. 

The agreement also included the dismissal of two counts of armed criminal action. 

Editor's note: The above video was published in June 2020.

At 11:35 a.m. on June 4, 2020, police found Houston shot in the chest in the parking lot of the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on Gilmore Avenue in the Walnut Park East neighborhood.

According to the 20-year-old's relatives, he was shot during a confrontation after leaving a family friend’s funeral.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Houston’s brother also had been shot at, according to a probable cause statement.

A dash camera video captured the incident on camera and helped police identify Williams, according to court documents.

Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Alan Williams

Williams was arrested by U.S. Marshals nearly a year after the fatal shooting on May 13, 2021 in Houston, Texas. He was brought back to St. Louis and booked into the Justice Center 15 days later. A judge denied bond in the case.

Houston, a 20-year-old from Hazelwood, was a beloved high school athlete. He went to Webster Groves High School and graduated from St. Mary’s in 2018. The schools shared memories and condolences in the days following his death.

“He was a much-beloved son and friend. He was famous for always wearing a smile,” St. Mary’s High School tweeted.

Credit: Bryan Turner
Darius Houston

“My stomach is in knots. I’m deeply saddened by the news of Darius. I pray that God will grant his family and friends the strength during this dark time. Rest easy young brother,” the school’s basketball coach Bryan Turner tweeted.

“Heartbroken for the Houston family today. Family will be in our prayers,” Webster Groves basketball shared last June.

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