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Bracelets on the wrist of James Tullier, father of wounded East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Deputy Deputy Nick Tullier, who was shot in the July 17 ambush of law enforcement offiers in Baton Rouge, seenafter an interview Thurs., Oct. 27, 2016. The family has encouraged people to invoke the power of prayer for Nick and others, and believe it has made a difference in Nick's ability to survive, and improve.

Nick Tullier, an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy who was critically injured in the July 2016 attack on local law enforcement and outlived a bleak prognosis he wouldn’t survive, has moved back home to Baton Rouge after nearly four years of intensive medical treatment in Houston.

In an at-times emotional video posted Sunday to Facebook, Tullier’s father, James, revealed his family’s “big secret,” as he called it. He explained that the family had been looking for a new home after living in a Houston apartment that was close to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital but made caring for his son a challenge because it was too small.

Late into the video, and after a long pause, he says: “We’ve moved back to Baton Rouge."

More than four years have passed since a lone gunman opened fire on law enforcement officers in a July 2016 attack, a targeted shooting that killed three officers and injured three, including Nick Tullier.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola as well as Baton Rouge Police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald were killed in the shooting. Deputy Bruce Simmons was also injured and later returned to work after surgeries and rehabilitation. Baton Rouge police officer Chad Montgomery suffered minor injuries after a bullet grazed him.

The suspected assailant was killed during a gunfight with SWAT officers who responded to the scene along Airline Highway.

The shootings came at a time of heightened unrest in the country following the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota but was unrelated to demonstrations protesting the men's deaths. It also followed a similar attack on law enforcement when another gunman shot several Dallas police officers, killing five and injuring nine.

Nick Tullier, 45, was shot three times in the attack. For months, doctors at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge treated him before he was moved to a Houston hospital for specialized care.

For the past several years, Tullier’s family has advocated for him, often at his bedside. They've used social media and other online platforms to exhort their tens of thousands of supporters and followers not to give up on Nick, despite him needing intensive medical and therapeutic care.

Nick Tullier has long outlived doctors’ initial prediction that he had little chance to survive his injuries, as well as concerns that his condition left him prone to pneumonia, which has led to frequent returns to the hospital.

James Tullier says in his video that his son has been free of any health issues and “has been well for some time.”

"He hasn't had any lung trouble or any other trouble we haven’t been able to handle ourselves," he said.

In his post, James Tullier shares videos and pictures of his family moving Nick Tullier from their Houston apartment and into the van that brought him back home.

“Nick was definitely happy to get into the house,” James Tullier says. “He’s cognizant of everything going on and knew of the problems in their apartment.”

The move required several steps to happen, he says, due to the amount of medical equipment and supplies the family needed to bring back home. Several deputies from the East Baton Rouge and Livingston sheriff’s offices also helped with the move last week, James Tullier said.

Nick Tullier is a Denham Springs native who graduated from Denham Springs High in 1994. He worked as a patrol deputy for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for nearly 20 years.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a brief statement Sunday to The Advocate that he continues to pray for Tullier.

"I pray for Nick, his recovery and his family every single day," the sheriff said. "He will always be a beloved part of our family."


Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com, and follow him on Twitter @youssefrddad