A community mourns the loss of Sgt. Risner; The fallen hero returns to the Shoals

“It was very special, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,”
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 11:13 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Sheffield Police Sergeant Nick Risner was shot in the line of duty last Friday and died at Huntsville Hospital on Saturday morning. The hero had his final ride home and was taken back into The Shoals Monday from Huntsville.

Law enforcement agencies from all over the Tennessee Valley escorted Sgt. Risner’s body in a stretch that was two miles long. People stood there to watch with tears in their eyes, hands on their hearts, and some were saluting as Sgt. Risner’s body arrived in Florence.

Everyone who gathered in Florence said Sgt. Risner was the type of person who would introduce himself to anyone and nobody was a stranger to him. Risner’s body was taken to Birmingham over the weekend where his organs were harvested for donations, so even in death, he continued to serve others.

Ashlyn Hill and Kenzie Liles are friends with Sgt. Risner’s daughter. They said Risner was full of good and spent his time putting others before himself no matter what.

They reflected back on sports they played with his daughter and how he would always be there for support, even in uniform.

”Every time I saw him he would always come and give us a big hug, like every single time. I think he deserves all this plus so much more. I think it’s just crazy that everyone’s coming together right now for him,” said Hill.

Liles said Monday’s procession showed the type of person Sgt. Risner was, and just how much he meant to everyone around him.

“Whether or not he was really close to them or just like just met them, he was special to everybody,” said Liles.

Summer Gray is also a friend of Sgt. Risner’s daughter and was in Florence to pay her respects as his body returned to The Shoals.

“It was very special, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” said Gray.

Although Sgt. Risner is no longer with us, Monday truly showed how much his sacrifice meant to everyone here in the Tennessee Valley.

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