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Lowndes County sheriff reacts to shooting of Wilcox County deputies

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:08 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office is reacting a day after a retired Wilcox County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Wednesday.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s unreal,” said Lowndes County Sheriff Chris West.

Lowndes County neighbors Wilcox County and has also lost a law enforcement official to gun violence.

“The loss is devastating for someone that touched so many people within our community,” West said.

While Sheriff John “Big John” Williams is no longer around, he is remembered. A sign in Hayneville reads “Big John forever in our hearts.” That’s two years after the Lowndes County sheriff was shot and killed in the line of duty.

“He was a very unique individual,” West said. “You meet him one time, you never forget him.”

West has not forgotten the tragedy that took his friend’s life, and it hurts him to see another sheriff’s official killed. It is a reminder of a painful past, one that also displays some of the dangerous situations law enforcement officials find themselves in.

“When something horrific like this happens, and obviously ends up getting killed trying to protect someone else’s life, trying to help defuse a situation, you can’t put it into words,” West said.

In addition to praying for the Wilcox community, West said he visited Camden on Thursday. He met with Chief Deputy Trent Gulley, who survived the shooting.

“Because we’re so small, we’re so rural, everyone kind of knows each other,” West said. “We see each other every day in passing, or in the stores, or at church.”

“It’s just, it’s just devastating,” West added. “It just breaks your heart.”

West tells WSFA 12 News a law enforcement memorial project and a memorial for Williams are both in the works.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.