Slain Alabama police officer laid to rest as hundreds gather in his honor

Published 8:42 pm Friday, October 8, 2021

Hundreds of people gathered Friday in northwest Alabama for the funeral of Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner, who was shot to death in a confrontation with a man charged with killing the officer and another person.

With Risner’s flag-draped casket and flowers at the front of Faith Church, speakers honored Risner and remembered his sacrifice. Some area schools dismissed classes early for the service.

Brian Lansing Martin, 41, is jailed without bond in the killings of Risner, the father of one, and William Mealback Jr. of Cypress Inn, Tennessee. The two were fatally shot in Muscle Shoals last week.

Authorities said Martin killed Mealback, a close friend, with a shot to the head while they were driving through the city. The search for the shooter resulted in a chase in which police said Martin, who previously served time for manslaughter, shot Risner and another officer who was protected by a bulletproof vest.