A volunteer football coach in the Shoals was laid to rest on Saturday. Hundreds came out to say their goodbyes to Brioni Rutland at a service at Deshler High School. The 27-year-old Rutland was killed last week, and Jeremy Williams is now charged in his death.
But Saturday's service wasn't about how he died...it was about how he lived. John Mothershed, Deshler High School football coach, said, "Brioni Rutland was a man that loved this town, he loved this school. And even today, Brioni Rutland is uniting us."
But the service wasn't all about unity. The Deshler gym had to be cleared out and searched before the service because of a bomb threat. Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan told us, "Throughout this, there have been facebook posts of different types of threats that were circulating about a bomb threat, and so we brought a detail in before the service and cleared the gymnasium just to make sure that there were no problems there." Officers could be seen throughout the gym. Chief Logan said, "Because of what happened with Brioni and then of course later on, when his cousin was shot, tensions were extremely high and I think more than anything else just to ensure that the safety of those attending the service."
But the service went ahead as planned, with nearly 1500 in attendance.
The Tuscumbia police chief says they are looking into the bomb threat, and possible charges could come up. Florence Police, who are investigating Rutland's murder, are asking anyone with any information about the possibility of Rutland being associated with gambling to call their department.