Detective William Woods was shot and killed while on an undercover narcotics operation at 7th Street and Walnut Street (present day Muhammad Ali Boulevard). He and his partner were sitting in an unmarked patrol car, attempting to identify and arrest drug abusers. A man who was under the influence was looking for a drug dealer with the last name of Woods. Detective Woods was pointed out to the suspect as being Woods. The man went up to the car and shot Detective Woods without warning.
The suspect pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.
Detective Woods was the first African American police officer with the department to be murdered in the line of duty.
Detective Woods had served with the department for 11 years. He is survived by his wife, three (3) sons, and a daughter.