MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) – “In Valor, there is Hope,” says a picture circulating social media.
It also shows a thin blue line flag and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department’s patch.
That hope is what the friends and family — both biological and blue — of Deputy Brad Sullivan cling to.
At the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, things are very quiet. Sheriff Randy Tucker released a statement Friday confirming that a second deputy was shot during the confrontation in which Sullivan was shot. That deputy has been treated and released, according to Tucker.
Sullivan, a little league baseball coach, is also the single father of a 9-year-old boy. He is currently at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Intensive Care Unit in critical condition.
Dr. Alan Jones said Thursday that it will take multiple surgeries to improve his condition.
“If you Google ‘awesome, humble servant,’ you’ll find Brad’s picture,” said Scott Steele, Sullivan’s friend of 10 years and a spokesman for First Responders of Mississippi.
Members of the civilian and law enforcement communities are trying to help any way they can. Tucker said donations can be taken to any Bank Plus and given in the name of Bradley Sullivan. First Responders of Mississippi has started a fund to go to all the officers involved in the shootout Thursday.
“First Responders of Mississippi is a first line of response for them just for immediate funding purposes to stand in the gap for some of these medical bills and costs that are going to be incurred on an immediate basis,” Steele said.
But given Sullivan’s condition, more important than ever are a different kind of donations. The spiritual kind.
Tim Rutledge is the Director of Mississippi Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support.
“The entire department needs our prayers now, certainly Brad and his family need our prayers. It’s just a horrible tragic time,” he said. “This is another example of the tragedy officers face every day. We covet your prayers. The whole department is in mourning, the whole law enforcement community indeed is in mourning, so we covet your prayers.”
This isn’t the first time Sullivan faced gunfire. In February of 2016, Sullivan made a traffic stop in which the suspect fled and shot at him. Sullivan didn’t back down, and he chased the suspect and returned fire. That suspect was arrested and found to be a violent habitual offender. That incident earned him Top Cop for Madison County for 2016.
And so that blue line Mississippi sign that’s been up in front of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for years takes on a new meaning. Maybe it’s hope.