Memphis basketball signee and top-20 recruit Mikey Williams was arrested Thursday on felony weapon charges in his hometown of San Diego, the San Diego Sheriff's department confirmed to CBS8 News on Friday. Williams, one of the best guard prospects in the 2023 recruiting class and a social media star with millions of followers across multiple platforms, was released just after midnight Friday morning on $50,000 bail.
Williams was booked on five counts of assault with a deadly weapon using a firearm, though the department's lieutenant, Gavin Lanning, told ESPN that he will likely face one charge: assaulting someone with a firearm. ESPN reported that Williams, according to the report released by the sheriff's department, was involved in an incident in which an individual fired shots at a vehicle occupied by five people. This came after a reported incident earlier in the week where an argument took place and people were asked to leave the residence. From ESPN:
"Five people got into a car and as they were driving away, shots were fired," according to the sheriff's department incident report. "The car was hit, but no one was hurt."
Williams was arrested after a search warrant was executed. Multiple minors were in the car. The sheriff's office said it will not release Williams' booking photo because by policy it releases such photos only "when there is an immediate threat to public safety."
Memphis released a statement Friday on Williams' arrest, saying only that the school was "aware of the situation and are gathering more information."
Troy P. Owens, a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, shared on social media that he is representing Williams in the case. In a statement, Owens said an altercation was initiated by individuals who entered Williams' home and caused a disturbance:
"The information [from the Sheriff's Department] reveals that Thursday's arrest stems from a March 27, 2023 altercation at a home in Jamul that Mr. Williams maintained as a residence," said Owens. "This altercation was initiated by several uninvited individuals entering the home and causing a disturbance. During the aftermath of the disturbance, there were reports of shots being fired. Mr. Williams is alleged to match the description of the shooter. As a result a search warrant was executed at the home and Mr. Williams was arrested. He has posted bond and looks forward to addressing any allegations against him using the established procedures in our justice system.
"While this case has received significant attention, we ask that people appreciate the fact that Mr. Williams is an 18-year-old high school student," Owens continued. "Harassment, threats or any other behavior of the sort is unwarranted. We are aware of several narratives being advanced online that are not factual and are designed to humiliate Mr. Williams. We are confident the truth will come to light."
Owens added that Williams maintains his innocence and intends to cooperate during criminal proceedings.
The Instagram account belonging to Williams, which had amassed millions of followers through the years as he's gained popularity as one of the most followed basketball prospects in the country, was deactivated early Friday. His Twitter account remained active as of Friday afternoon.
In 2020 Williams was rated as the No. 2 prospect in the 2023 class of 247Sports' recruiting rankings for the class, and he has maintained blue-chip status as a top-20 talent ever since. Now ranked as the No. 17 overall prospect in the class by 247Sports and the No. 4 player at his position, he chose Memphis and signed with the school last fall over reported offers from Kansas, Arkansas and other pro options.
Memphis has a top-10 recruiting class signed for the 2023 cycle headlined by Williams, who is the highest-rated signee of the six-man class. It currently ranks No. 9 at 247Sports nationally and No. 1 among AAC programs.