Charges have been filed against the alleged killer who opened fire on a Sheffield police sergeant and another man who was a longtime friend of the suspect last week.
Alabama law enforcement agency Wednesday charged Brian Lansing Martin, 41, with three counts of attempted murder, two counts of attempted murder, two assault vehicles and possession of a firearm.
Martin has been charged in Sartre’s murder. Nick Risner, a US Army veteran who joined the Sheffield force eight years ago, and William Meilback Jr., who was shot in his car before the gunfire and Martin, later joined police.
One of the charges of attempted murder was shot twice in the upper left chest of Sheffield Lt. Max Dotson’s heart.
Earlier Wednesday, Dotson sued Brian Lansing Martin for $ 375,000 in damages.
The suit claims that Martin was “the nearest cause of reckless and willful acts,” while Dotson suffered bodily harm, mental anguish and emotional distress.
Martin is being held at the Morgan County Jail, according to a post on the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
An ordeal involving Martin began around 2 a.m. Friday afternoon, when Muscle Shoals police initially responded to what they believe was a hit-and-run on Avalon Avenue. Investigators say the 58-year-old Mealback was shot, left to die, and taken to Martin’s car.
The family says Mealback met Martin a decade ago. Mealback suffered from seizures and health problems, and Martin became his unauthorized caregiver and took him to the doctor’s points.
The witness received a vehicle description and was given a lookout bulletin. The vehicle was vandalized in nearby Sheffield and Martin was later summoned by authorities to chase, ending in Muscle Shoals.
The chase ended in the rear of the old Southgate Mall on East Avalon Avenue near Walmart.
Then Sgt. Risner undertook a PIT maneuver, a discovery strategy in which the pursuing car forces the fleeing car to turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control.
“According to the officer I talked to my brother, he was the PIT of the best accuracy he ever saw and that guy (Martin) turned around,” Billy Risner, the brother of the slain officer, told AL.com. “He was at the driver’s door at the driver’s door and Nick didn’t have time to respond.”
It was then shot. Sergeant Risner, Lt. Max Dotson and the suspect were all injured.
“My brother never got out of his car,” Billy Risner said.
Sergeant Risner never regained consciousness and was found dead at Huntsville Hospital Saturday morning at 9:52 p.m.
Martin pleaded guilty to manslaughter on May 11, 2011, and shot and killed his father, Donis Scott, during a fight outside Scott’s Tuscumbia home.
He received a 10-year sentence at the time but was released in May 2016 after nearly three years in prison, according to court records.
After Risner’s death, elected leaders and other officials across Alabama have expressed outrage over the shootings, questioning whether the justice system failed when Martin released him.