SHEFFIELD, Ala — Law enforcement officers and the community turned out to support friends and family of Sgt. Nick Risner, who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty on Friday, October 1.
Sheffield police sergeant Nick Risner, one of the two officers shot in Muscle Shoals on Friday, has died from his injuries. The second officer, Lt. Max Dotson, was struck in their bulletproof vest. He was treated at Helen Keller hospital and released.
Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement ordering flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Risner's burial:
Special agents with the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the shooting:
At the request of the Sheffield Police Department, Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are investigating an officer‐involved shooting, which involved officers with the Sheffield Police Department.
The incident occurred Friday, Oct. 1, at approximately 2:00 p.m. The suspect, identified as Brian Lansing Martin, 41, of Sheffield, engaged in gunfire with officers and was struck. Two officers with the Sheffield Police Department, Officer Max Dotson and Sergeant James Nicholas “Nick” Risner were also struck by gunfire. Martin and Sgt. Risner were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Martin is in stable condition, however, Sgt. Risner tragically succumbed to his injuries on Saturday, Oct. 2.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor issued the following statement concerning the loss of fallen Sheffield Police Officer Sgt. Nick Risner: “On behalf of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sheffield Police Officer Sgt. Nick Risner. It has been absolutely devastating to learn of the loss of Sgt. Risner who was a true professional and dedicated public servant, devoting nearly a decade of his life to protecting and serving his local community, as well as his nation by serving with the United States Army Reserve. His determination to serve the public will always be remembered and the sacrifice he made will never be forgotten. As we mourn alongside fellow law enforcement officers as well as the entire community, we also pray for the speedy and full recovery of Officer Max Dotson who was struck by gunfire during the incident and fortunately, is doing well. It is times such as these that truly remind us how dangerous a career in law enforcement can be. Every day, officers around the state risk their lives in the performance of their duties to protect and keep their fellow citizens safe. Both officers’ courage, resolve and brave actions will continue to live on and provide us all with an example of true heroism.”
A member of Risner's family posted the update on social media Saturday morning:
Leading up to the shooting was a call for a hit and run. Muscle Shoals Police Chief Clint Reck said that the whole thing changed when they found a shooting victim on the road. He said an eyewitness "identified a truck and tag involved in a separate accident" and about 30 minutes later, Sheffield police spotted that truck. The ensuing chase went back into Muscle Shoals, where the driver pulled in behind the old Southgate Mall. As officers closed in on the truck, Reck says, "Shots rang out."
Sheffield Police Chief Rick Terry confirmed that two officers were shot. One was shot and their bullet-proof vest stopped the rounds. The other, who was in the car, appeared to be shot through the windshield. That officer was Nick Risner. He was flown to Huntsville Hospital in critical condition.
The suspect, Brian Lansing Martin, was also shot and taken to Huntsville Hospital. According to court documents, Martin plead guilty to manslaughter in 2013 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released in 2016.
The Muscle Shoals Police Department also announced Risner's passing.
Other agencies are sharing their support:
A prayer vigil was held on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. outside of Vertillos 312 North Montgomery Avenue.