SHEFFIELD, Ala. (AP) — A police officer who was shot to death during a chase that left another officer wounded last week was honored Monday with a procession across north Alabama.
Hundreds of people, including entire classes of schoolchildren, stood along roadsides as the body of Sheffield Police Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner, 40, was returned to the city from Huntsville by a motorcade that included dozens of emergency vehicles with lights flashing.
Many in the crowd held American flags, some of which also were held aloft by fire trucks. The procession stretched roughly 2 miles in places.
Citizens and First Responders line the escort route through Decatur/Morgan County for Fallen Sheffield Officer Sgt. Nick Risner. pic.twitter.com/b2vXRV6Vt3
— Morgan County Sheriff's Office (Alabama) (@morgan_sheriff) October 4, 2021
— waaytv (@WAAYTV) October 4, 2021
Procession honoring fallen Sgt. Nick Risner as he’s escorted to Williams Funeral Home in Florence, AL pic.twitter.com/Baso7NcJ18
— Hunter Jackson In The Morning (@hunterjacksonfm) October 4, 2021
Risner, who worked with a police dog for Sheffield, was fatally wounded in Muscle Shoals on Friday and died Saturday. He was remembered as a dedicated, veteran officer who also served in the Army Reserves and talked a young woman, Emma Gregory, out taking her own life in 2019.
“I saw him as invincible. He was my literal superhero,” Gregor told WAAY-TV after Risner’s death. “Until his last dying breath, he protected and he served, and he loved.”
Authorities said Risner and another officer were shot after a man shot a person and pushed the deceased victim out of a car into a street in Muscle Shoals, prompting a search and chase that ended in a flurry of gunfire. Sheffield Lt. Max Dotson also was shot, but his vest prevented severe injury.
Brian Lansing Martin, 41, of Sheffield was arrested, but charges were not filed immediately. AL.com’s Carol Robinson reported that Martin was convicted of manslaughter in 2013 for the killing of his father but released early in 2016 after serving three years of a seven year sentence.
The body of Risner, an organ donor, was taken to Birmingham following his death so organs could be removed. Dotson, who was treated and released after the shooting, said it wasn’t a surprise Risner was an organ donor because he was a “community guy” who tried to help everyone he could,
“Whether it’d be taking money out of his own pocket to pay for somebody’s meal or just getting out playing basketball with the kids,” he said.
Risner is survived by a wife and daughter.