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Ala. Constable Fatally Shot, Deputy Wounded in Shootout

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Madison “Skip” Nicholson, a constable and a retired Wilcox County sheriff’s deputy, was shot multiple times in the chest and neck while responding to a domestic disturbance in Yellow Bluff.

December 3, 2021 – By Carol Robinson – Source al.com

Gunfire in a small Alabama town Wednesday left a constable and suspect dead, and another deputy wounded.

The gunfire erupted shortly before 5 p.m. in the town of Yellow Bluff, which is 10 miles outside of Camden, said District Attorney Michael Jackson.

Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Trenton Gulley and retired Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson, who was currently working as a constable/process server, responded to a residence on a domestic disturbance.

Almost immediately, authorities said, the officers were met by gunfire. When it was all over, Nicholson was dead, as was the suspect, 52-year-old Billy Bizzell.

Gulley was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and later released.

“It’s a tragic incident,’’ said Wilcox County Sheriff Earnest Evans. “It’s real dangerous to go on domestic violence cases, as we all know.”

Gov. Kay Ivey about 10:30 p.m. confirmed Nicholson’s death via Twitter: “Tonight, my home county of Wilcox tragically lost retired Sheriff’s Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson who was shot and killed in the line of duty,’’ Ivey said.

“A chief deputy was also treated for his injuries. We are reminded far too often the grave sacrifice our men and women in blue face each day to protect our communities. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is actively leading the investigation on this tragic situation. My prayers go out to his family and colleagues.”

“Tonight, my home county of Wilcox tragically lost retired Sheriff’s Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson who was shot and killed in the line of duty. My prayers go out to his family and colleagues,’’ the governor tweeted.

Wilcox County Emergency Management Agency Director Melissa Dove said the ordeal began when Gulley and Nicholson responded to a residence on Shamburger Road.

A woman had called 9-1-1 to report the suspect had left to go get a gun and was going to return and kill her, Dove said. There were conflicting reports on whether the suspect was her husband or boyfriend.

When the lawmen arrived, they were met with gunfire.

The chief deputy, Dove said, was shot in the arm and transported to a Thomasville hospital. His injuries aren’t life-threatening.

Evans said Chief Deputy Trenton Gulley was treated and released.

Nicholson was shot multiple times in the chest and neck, Dove said. He was airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola in critical condition where he later died.

Dove said the chief deputy shot and killed the suspect.

The State Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor issued this statement following Nicholson’s death:

“On behalf of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of retired Wilcox County Sheriff’s Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson, who was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier this evening. Once again, we have tragically lost a hero with a servant’s heart to protect and serve the citizens of Alabama. Retired Deputy Nicholson was a true professional and dedicated public servant. His dedication to serve the public will always be remembered and the sacrifice he made will never be forgotten. We understand this has been a devastating time for all of our fellow officers in Wilcox County, who also suffered from the unexpected loss of Camden Police Chief Lorenza “Tyrone” Dale, earlier this year. As we continue to mourn alongside the law enforcement community, we also pray for the speedy and full recovery of the Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, who was also injured during the course of the incident and fortunately, is reported to be doing well. As we head into the holiday season and near the end of 2021, we are reminded once more of how dangerous a career in law enforcement can be for all of our partners, whether they are full-time officers or continuing to serve as retired employees. We are truly grateful for the men and women who work throughout the state to protect and keep their fellow citizens safe. Both deputies’ courage, resolve and brave actions will continue to live on and provide us all with an example of a fearless servant’s heart.”

Nicholson, who was in his late 70s, is the third Alabama law enforcement fatally shot in the line of duty this year.

On Oct. 2, Sheffield police Sgt. Nick Risner died a day after he was critically wounded during a shootout with a murder suspect in Muscle Shoals. A second officer, Lt. Max Dotson, was wounded but saved by his bullet-resistant vest.

Risner was a U.S. Army Reserve veteran and had served with the Sheffield Police Department for eight years.

Selma police Officer Marquis Dewon Moorer was killed July 27, 2021.

The shooting happened at 4:10 a.m. that Tuesday when Moorer stopped by his apartment at Selma Square Apartments. Authorities have not released a motive in the slaying, but authorities described the shooting as an “ambush.”

More than a dozen rifle rounds were fired into the apartment. Authorities said Moorer was found in his bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Moorer’s girlfriend, Shakiaria Barley, was shot in the legs but survived.


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