Sheffield community pays respects to Sgt. Risner in multiple vigils

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. — Members of the Shoals area took Saturday to pay respects to the memory and relationships Sgt. Nick Risner made with so many while on the job with Sheffield Police Department.

Risner was shot Friday afternoon responding to a call that advanced into a shootout that injured another officer, killed another man, and injured the suspect.

Attendees at Risner’s two memorial services said they were honoring someone who lived and died for “a purpose” that being to serve his community no matter what.

“I just wanted to make sure that this officer knows that the community supports him and we appreciate all the sacrifices he made for our community and what a great job he did,” Sheffield business owner Rebecca Hovater said.

“He was a good guy,” Sheffield resident Brad Hamm said. “Every time you’d seen him he had a smile on his face. He would talk to you and you know, he was just a good guy.”

The community knew Risner well.

“Anybody you ask here in the Sheffield community will tell you that Sgt. Risner was such a kind, compassionate, and just overall a faithful human being,” family friend Santana Davis told News 19.

“Our assistant, she went kayaking with him and stuff, so we had outside of work to experience with him,” Ryan Patrick of Vertillo’s Pizza said. “(He was) such a good-hearted man. I hate to see for all the rest of Sheffield Police Department and all the other police departments what took place. And we just feel horrible for it and we’re just wanting to do whatever we can for the guys.”

“That’s what he loved,” Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry said at a vigil Saturday night. “He would not want to go out no other way than the way it happened. He’s done his duty.”

Sheffield Police said in a press release that Risner died a hero also because he was a registered organ donor.

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