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WILCOX COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A Thursday morning procession moved the body of a retired Wilcox County Sheriff’s Deputy who was killed Wednesday night while responding to a domestic violence incident.

The procession began in Pensacola. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office escorted the body of Wilcox County Sheriff’s Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson to the Alabama state line.

At the Alabama state line near Atmore, deputies from both Escambia County sheriff’s offices in Alabama and Florida, along with Pensacola police officers, paid tribute to the fallen deputy. From there, the procession went through Escambia County, Ala., before moving on to Wilcox County.

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, deputies responded to a domestic violence call on Shamburger Road in the Yellowbluff community. The sheriff says a woman ran out of the house followed by a man, later identified as Bill Bizzell, who was firing a gun.

Wilcox County Sheriff Earnest Evans says Bizzell committed suicide after the shooting.

Retired Wilcox County Sheriff Deputy Madison “Skip” Nicholson was working as a process server and was on the call with the sheriff’s office. Nicholson was shot in the neck. Initial reports indicated he was being airlifted to a hospital in Mobile, but Nicholson was taken instead to Pensacola. He died while being transported to Sacred Heart.

Madison Nicholson

Chief Deputy Trenton Gulley was shot and airlifted to a Pensacola hospital. Gulley is expected to recover.

Wilcox County Chief Deputy Trenton Gulley (photo provided through WAKA/CBS Newspath)

Wilcox County E911 is asking for the community to send words of encouragement to Gulley. You can send him a card at this address:
Trenton Gulley
C/O Wilcox County 911
240 Highway 265 S.
Camden, AL 36726

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey responded to the shooting on social media:

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. 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.

Gov. Kay Ivey

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said “we must not react to this tragedy with indifference.” Read his full statement below:

“Nicholson, a 40-year veteran law enforcement officer, was well-respected in his community for his dedication to public service.  To take an oath to protect and serve one’s community is both a tremendous responsibility and a statement of love for one’s fellow man. We mourn the loss of retired Deputy Madison ‘Skip’ Nicholson who lost his life in the line of duty and pray for the consolation of his family and friends. We must not react to this tragedy with indifference. To truly honor Nicholson, as a State, we must recommit ourselves to raising a generation that respects our laws and reveres our law enforcement officers.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor released the following statement on 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.”

Hal Taylor, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency secretary

The investigation continues. WKRG News 5 will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.