TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WMBB) — A Panama City police officer was honored Wednesday by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Moody recognized Sgt. Chris Nichol of the Panama City Police Department for his actions in May of 2018 during an active shooter incident in the city.
Nichol responded to the report of shots fired in the 2200 Block of Beck Avenue in Panama City. A murder suspect from an adjoining county had filled an apartment with gasoline and retreated to the second story where he began to shoot at citizens and responding officers. Upon arrival, Nichol came under fire and was forced to retreat to the rear of his vehicle for cover. Sgt. Nichol, the SWAT team leader, directed other members to locations where they could provide cover for officers who were pinned down.
Nichol then worked with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team to coordinate a rescue of the pinned down officers.
“His actions on that day demonstrated sound tactical leadership while under fire,” officials wrote. “His actions directly contributed to the resolution of the situation without law enforcement casualties.”
Then on August 8, 2018, officers responded to a local address in reference to a domestic dispute. The suspect armed himself and went into a bedroom at the end of a hallway. Nichol, serving as SWAT Team Leader responded to the scene. SWAT entered the residence and relieved the patrol officers who had been inside. Negotiations with the suspect broke down after some time and the suspect became more aggressive.
“Sgt. Nichol was at the front of the SWAT team when the suspect emerged and opened fire, striking him in the neck,” officials wrote. “Despite being wounded, he fired less-lethal rounds while another team member provided cover fire. Sgt. Nichol remained calm, ascertained that his wound was non-life-threatening and continued to provide direction to the team.”