FLORENCE, Ala. — After a chase and shootout led to the eventual death of a Sheffield police officer, questions remain about the very public incident that led to passersby calling the police, to begin with.
Brian Lansing Martin is charged with capital murder in the death of 58-year-old William Clare Mealback Jr. of Cypress Inn, Tennessee.
Muscle Shoals Police said while riding in a vehicle together, Martin shot and killed Mealback. His body was then pushed out of the vehicle onto Avalon Avenue in broad daylight.
Mary-Katherine Mills is a vendor at Renaissance Antiques in Florence. She started a GoFundMe to assist the Mealback family because while Sergeant Nick Risner’s death was a tremendous blow to the community, she didn’t want William Mealback’s falling through the cracks.
“As I watched the news, I heard very little about Mr. Mealback,” Mills said. “I just felt the need to do the memorial here for him at the store in our booth that we have here and just pay tribute to him just as we did Officer Risner.”
The initial goal for the GoFundMe was $2,500, but as of Monday afternoon, it had surpassed $4,500.
“It just kind of tugged at my heart because I thought his story deserves to be told,” Mills said.
Mills has been in contact with the Mealback family; she said they are beyond appreciative.
“They’re very humbled; they can’t believe the kindness of strangers that do not know them,” Mills said. “They didn’t know their dad, but people stepped up and they’re willing to give because they have a heart for this story, and they have a heart for this family.”
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