South Carolina Highway Patrol
Age: 27 years
Service: 2 years
Trooper Eric Nicholson was shot and killed while attempting to stop a bank robbery suspect.
Trooper Nicholson observed the suspect driving a motorcycle and attempted to stop him. Before Trooper Nicholson was able to exit his cruiser, the suspect opened fire. Trooper Nicholson was shot several times. The suspect then fled the scene in a getaway vehicle with an accomplice. Trooper Nicholson was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Officers traced the vehicle tag to a residence and attempted to arrest the suspect. Those officers were then engaged in a shootout and car chase that left another deputy injured. The suspect was shot and wounded after being cornered on a dead-end road and taken into custody.
The suspect was sentenced to death in January 2002. He was also put on trial for other charges stemming from the incident.
Trooper Nicholson was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the South Carolina Highway Patrol for 2-1/2 years. He is survived by his wife.