Officer shot through windshield and murdered. Suspect had been released early after murdering his own dad.

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MUSCLE SHOALS, AL – One of two Sheffield Police officers struck during a shootout with a suspect near the Southgate Mall earlier in October has unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

The second officer shot during the altercation was reportedly struck in the vest and thus not seriously injured.

The incident occurred October 1st after the Muscle Shoals Police Department was alerted at approximately 1:44 p.m. about a pedestrian on Avalon Avenue that may have been hit.

When Muscle Police officers arrived on the scene, they found the person in question deceased – having suffered an apparent gunshot wound.

After the discovery of the deceased individual on Avalon Avenue, Sheffield Police officers spotted a vehicle that had matched the description of the one seen fleeing the scene in Muscle Shoals. The officers pursued the vehicle, chasing it back into Muscle Shoals and trapping the suspect’s vehicle behind the Southgate Mall.

Muscle Shoals Police Chief Clint Reck said that the suspect, identified as 41-year-old Brian Lansing Martin, opened fire on the Sheffield Police officers during the confrontation.

Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry stated that the suspect shot Sgt. Nick Risner through the windshield of his vehicle, while Lt. Max Dotson was shot in his vest during the incident.

Sgt. Risner was flown to Huntsville Hospital for surgery following the shooting, but sadly passed away at approximately 9:52 a.m. on October 2nd.

The suspect, Martin, was also shot during the firefight and transferred to Huntsville Hospital for treatment.

Sheffield Police Chief Terry released a statement regarding the loss of Sgt. Risner, expressing frustration that the suspect was out on the streets instead of being in prison:

“The justice system failed not only Sgt. Nick Risner, but his family and everyone who has been affected by his passing. This incident should have never happened because a coward who should still be in prison was walking the streets.”

The context behind Chief Terry’s comments relates to Martin being sentenced to 10 years in prison for the killing of his father back in 2011. On May 11th, 2011, Martin went to his father’s home in Tuscumbia over a purported debt of $1,100 that was owed to him.

During this confrontation with his father, Donice Scott, Martin claimed during the trial that his father tried attacking him with a sword in the front yard which then led to the fatal shooting. Two years after being initially charged, Martin pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2013 and was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.

However, he was released in May of 2016.

Sgt. Risner had served with the Sheffield Police Department for over 8 years as a K9 officer prior to his passing, having also served in the Army Reserve for 8 years.

Attorney General Steve Marshall released a statement following the news of Sgt. Risner’s death, referring to the fallen officer as a “hero” that was needlessly killed in the line of duty:

“We mourn the loss of Sergeant Nick Risner, a hero who was senselessly struck down in the line of duty… We often take for granted the safety of our neighborhoods and communities while—every minute of every day—heroes sworn to protect and serve us venture into harm’s way. Sergeant Risner was such a hero.

We live our lives in security because of the bravery and commitment of men like Sergeant Risner who vigilantly stand guard against evil. We can never repay their sacrifice. Please pray for Sergeant Risner’s family, friends, and fellow officers.”

It’s unclear as of this time what the circumstances were behind the original incident on Avalon Avenue where Martin is suspected of gunning down a yet-to-be identified victim.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Got him: Suspect arrested in murder of police officer who responded to a domestic disturbance

(Originally published September 27th, 2021)

CLIFTON, TN – According to reports, authorities arrested a 48-year-old man under charges of first-degree murder regarding the fatal shooting of a Hardin County deputy who was among other local law enforcement who responded to a domestic disturbance report on September 25th.

The incident began after Hardin County deputies and Clifton Police responded to a residence located off of Nance Bend Road in Clifton for a reported domestic disturbance at approximately 8:30 p.m. on September 25th.

Upon the arrival of officers, officials say they encountered 48-year-old Todd Stricklin, who was reportedly armed with a firearm during the initial confrontation. Officers on scene told the suspect to drop the weapon, but Stricklin reportedly refused to do so.

During the confrontation with the suspect, authorities say Hardin County Deputy Matthew Locke approached the residence to assist with the incident and was shot by Stricklin.

Deputy Locke was rushed to an area hospital after the shooting, where he later passed away from his sustained injuries, according to a statement provided by Hardin County Sheriff Johnny Alexander:

“Hardin County Sheriff Deputy Matthew Locke was assisting another deputy regarding a domestic disturbance call when he was senselessly fired upon. Deputy Locke ultimately succumbed to the injuries he tragically sustained while serving and protecting his community with honor and distinction.”

Following the shooting, authorities say that Stricklin fled into a wooded area nearby his residence, where Tennessee Highway Patrol officers located him a few hours after the incident.

Stricklin was booked into the Hardin County Jail under a charge of first-degree murder before being later transferred over to the Chester County Jail.

Outside of having served with the sheriff’s department, Deputy Locke was also a member of the Tennessee National Guard. Sheriff Alexander said the country had “lost a hero” with the passing of the deputy:

“Our country has lost a hero. Our department has lost a brother. We will never forget Deputy Locke, and we are all forever in debt for his sacrifice.

On behalf of myself and everyone with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, we express our deepest condolences to members of Deputy Locke’s family, his friends and loved ones.

I also want to express my support, care and concern for all members of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Savannah Police Department and our surrounding colleagues from other departments as you are unfairly forced to mourn this tragic loss.”

Hardin County Mayor Kevin Davis also released a statement regarding Deputy Locke’s death, calling the receipt of the news as being “one of the hardest calls” he’s ever had to take during his time as mayor:

“Last night, I was informed Hardin County Deputy Matthew Locke lost his life while assisting another deputy during a domestic disturbance call. Without a doubt, this was one of the hardest calls I’ve received during my service as Hardin County Mayor.

Deputy Locke was a deputy and soldier who served his community and his country with honor, courage, commitment, dedication, and devotion. Deputy Locke was known to be a fearless warrior with a servant’s heart. Our community has lost a hero, and a family will never be the same, all because of this senseless tragedy.”

District Attorney Matthew Stowe stated that he “activated the death penalty team” regarding the case against Stricklin, saying that his office “will not allow murder to go unpunished”:

“Upon learning the details of the shooting, I have activated the death penalty team who will be reviewing the evidence and charges to determine if this shooting of a law enforcement officer meets the standard for a capital murder crime.

We will not allow murder to go unpunished in the 24th Judicial District. While other parts of the country struggle with unlawfulness and activists who encourage violence against police, the people of our West Tennessee district stand firm in support for our officers and the rule of law.”

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Final act of heroism: Kidney of fallen police officer given to another cop to save his life

(Originally published September 22nd, 2021)

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Independence Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans, who was killed in a shootout with a suspect earlier in September, is continuing to save lives even in death.

He was an organ donor, and his kidney served as a match for a Springfield Police officer in need of a transplant.

As we had previously reported here at Law Enforcement Today, Officer Madrid-Evans was only 22-years-old when he died in a shootout with 33-year-old repeat offender Cody L. Harrison back on September 15th.

Harrison was also killed during the shootout when officers returned fire outside of the residence located within the 2400 block of Northern Boulevard in Independence.

As fate would have it, Officer Madrid-Evans was an organ donor and Springfield Police Officer Mark Priebe needed a new kidney – which the late officer’s kidney served as a match.

Officer Priebe was paralyzed after being intentionally struck by a vehicle back in June of 2020.

The Springfield officer’s kidneys began to fail this past June and he started dialysis in July. Come September 17th, Officer Priebe’s family learned of the match and the transplant was performed the day after.

While Officer Priebe stated that he is “forever grateful” for Officer Madrid-Evans’ kidney serving as a match, he’s also heartbroken knowing that the officer died so young and early into his career, saying “why I am allowed to continue to live, and this young, brand new officer had to pay the ultimate sacrifice. I hope that I can honor him and his family by the way I live my life.”

Speaking with local news outlet KY3 two days after the procedure, Officer Priebe expanded on those emotions he’s feeling:

“I think that’s probably the hardest thing for me to soak in is, I get to live, and I’ve already lived ‘til 46 years old and done my career. And he was just trying to get started, and he’s already gone from us. And that’s where it’s hard for me to really truly understand that.

And I just have to put my faith in God and not look for all the answers and just trust in him that there’s purpose and a reason behind it all.”

Officer Priebe’s wife says that he’s still on a liquid diet, but that doctors say he should be ready for real food soon and that things are looking good after the transplant.

The officer said from his hospital room during the interview that he’s keeping Officer Madrid-Evans’ family in his prayers and credits the family with giving him more time than he “was supposed to before”:

“We know God was watching over me, and we pray for the family that, where the donation came from. We’re thinking of them as we go about our days each day now too.

They gave me a second chance to be healthier and live even longer than I was supposed to before. But love everybody. Keep praying that we heal and there’s no complications and no rejections of the kidney and we can just keep moving forward.”

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