The retired deputy, who was identified as Madison “Skip” Nicholson, and Wilcox County’s Chief Deputy Trenton Gulley were both met with gunfire when they arrived at a residence in Yellow Bluff around 5 p.m., WSFA-TV of Montgomery, Alabama, reported.
The pair of officers went to the location after a woman called police, fearing her estranged husband might try to kill her, Melissa Dove, executive director of the Wilcox County Emergency Management Agency, told the station.
“It’s a tragic incident,” Wilcox County Sheriff Earnest Evans told AL.com. “It’s real dangerous to go on domestic violence cases, as we all know.”
“It’s a tragic incident. It’s real dangerous to go on domestic violence cases, as we all know.”
— Wilcox County Sheriff Earnest Evans
Gulley suffered non-life-threatening wounds but Nicholson died after taking multiple gunshots to his chest and one to his neck, WSFA reported.
The woman who had called police was not wounded, the report said.
The suspect was identified as Billy Bizzell. Dove and the Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office gave conflicting accounts of how he died, WSFA reported.
Dove said Bizzell was shot and killed by the chief deputy, while the sheriff’s office claimed Bizzell took his own life, according to the station.
In addition to local authorities, personnel from the state Bueau of Investigation and the FBI’s office in Mobile, Alabama, responded to the scene, the report said.
Wilcox is the home county of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who issued a statement following reports of Nicholson’s death.
“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,” Ivery wrote, according to WSFA. “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.”
Nicholson was the third Alabama law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty this year, AL.com reported. The others were Sheffield police Sgt. Nick Risner, who was killed Oct. 2, and Selma police Officer Marquis Moorer, who was killed July 27, the report said.
Yellow Bluff is about 91 miles southwest of Montgomery.