BATON ROUGE, La. – It’s been more than three months since Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tullier was critically wounded. He remains comatose following the July 17 Baton Rouge attack as his family waits and hopes while he fights for his life.
CNN has been allowed by the family to visit in Nick’s hospital room where they have noted an image of St. Michael, the patron saint of law enforcement officers, according to their report.
For Nick’s family, every day is a miracle, especially at the time when he was reported to be responding to some verbal commands and was able to give thumbs up when the doctor asked him to. However, it was an emotional struggle hearing good and bad news from every update the doctors gave them. They are very keen in observing every slight movement that would encourage them to believe he will soon emerge from a coma.
As if the burden was not enough, the family lost their home in the flood while Nick is in the hospital. But they were not bothered by the news and thought of parking their recreational vehicle on the hospital grounds. That way they are ever present and can attend to their son’s needs.
Nick Tullier was with two other East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies having coffee when they received the call over the radio from Airline Highway. Nick arrived first at the shooting scene but never had the chance to defend himself.
Gavin Long shot him once in the head, causing severe brain stem damage, and twice in the abdomen requiring 12 surgeries to repair the internal damage to his organs.
“That guy that did the shooting was pure evil,” James Tullier said. “Came here in a vengeance with a mission in mind. It was just to kill police officers.”
“His moral compass is always pointing north.” Van Foster, a close friend of Nick Tullier, said. “I guarantee you the thought in his mind is there where officers down and there were potential people in danger.”
Tullier was rushed to the hospital where doctors told his family that he would not live another day. His heart stopped four times within the first 24 hours, but miraculously continues to beat long after that, defying the doctor’s prediction. In just a week’s time, he’s been able to breathe on his own without help from a machine.
“Nick’s a fighter. We believe in him. He believes in himself,” Nick’s father said. “He’s fighting, we know it.”
Trent Tullie,18, one of Nick’s two sons, tries to live a normal life despite the doubts he’ll ever hear his father’s voice again. “What’s going to happen in the future? Like am I still going to have a father that is going to be able to have conversations with me? Will we still be able to hang out together and just chat? I have no clue,” Trent Tullier said, holding back tears.
Nick Tullier and his fiancée, Daniel McNicoll, were planning to get married next summer. Since the shooting she has lived in the hospital by Tullier’s side.
“You can definitely tell that he can hear when we are talking to him. A lot of times he’ll open his right eye, he moved his head, he moved his toes. He’s there. It takes a lot out of him,” McNicoll said. “Medically he should not be here, and he is.”
“They really have high hopes for Nick,” she said, referring to Tullier’s family. “They see in his charts and his progress, God willing he can make a hundred percent recovery.”
Since the day after the shooting, support has poured in from law enforcement officers and people around the world that help the family to keep fighting for Nick. His father updates his son’s progress on a Facebook page. He believes his son’s ordeal will eventually help to end the anti-police violence across the nation. “We hope that this straightens some attitudes out, but why did it have to get to this?” the senior Tullier asks.
McNicoll recalled that Nick had been worried about anti-police views on the streets, and that he could be one of the targets. The morning before the shooting, Nick Tullier didn’t feel like going to work. She also recalled the text message that her fiancé sent her saying that if anything happened to him, “know that I will not die easy.”
As James Tullier continues the posts on Facebook, he had these words of insight on Day 98:
To have ‘Law Enforcement’, we have to have Law Enforcement ‘Officers’. We want them to do a good job but tie their arms behind their backs. Got to Change.
Without Law Enforcement Officers, People won’t abide by ANY Laws. Why would they? Nothing would force them to. No punishment feared for not doing something within rules.
I know I’m ranting on, but LEO’s need our Full Support. Not half of it, not a third of it; all of it.
I guess I’ll come back down to Earth and get back to my main interest. Nick still has a very long ways to go. Need the Prayers to continue, as I know they have. Prayer Warriors everywhere, please hunt and Pray for new Passengers. If you find some that don’t know about Nick’s Prayer Train, please explain it to them. The Miracle Express has a Huge Engine now pulling tons of cars. No limit to its Horse Power. That’s because it’s all linked into The Power Of Prayer. Ride the Train as Nick’s Miracle Continues. As You All already know, Thank You from our Hearts.
Photo source: Facebook page of James Tullier