Family mourns South Carolina trooper
gunned down by suspected bank robber

PoliceOne Staff Report
(GREENVILLE, S.C) -- The family of Trooper Eric Nicholson will receive friends and fellow law enforcement for memorial services at the Mackey Mortuary, Greenville, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today.

The trooper was brutally gunned down by a man illegally riding a red motor scooter on Interstate 85 during what seemed like a minor, if bizarre, traffic stop on Dec. 6, WYFF-TV news reported.

According to police reports, John Richard Wood, 34, shot Nicholson several times before the officer even got out of his patrol car.

An eyewitness immediately alerted police, sparking a massive manhunt involving state, local and federal authorities, which culminated in a high-speed shoot out.

Wood, who was shot between the eyes during the gunplay, was rushed first to Anderson Medical Center and then to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he is expected to survive his wounds, according to press reports.

The trooper was flown to Greenville memorial hospital, were he died of multiple gunshot wounds to the heart and lungs at 12:57 p.m. on Dec. 6.

Wood will not only be charged with the trooper's death and resisting arrest, but is suspected also of robbing at least one bank, possibly more, police said.

"That rang a bell with us. Normally, a fellow on a moped isn't going to shoot a deputy or a trooper just for a traffic stop. There has to be something more to it," Taylor said. He also expressed regret for Nicholson's death and sympathy to the Nicholson family. "We are very, very sorry for what happened to the trooper. We know it is going to be a tough, tough holiday season for his family," Anderson County sheriff Gene Taylor told the television station.

Nicholson's funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Mauldin.

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