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What we know about Brandon Shirley, deputy who died after being 'targeted, ambushed'

LMPD is calling the shooting an ambush that was targeted. They believe two persons of interest have been identified in the crime.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky law enforcement community is mourning the loss of a deputy who was killed while working off-duty security in Shively. 

Early Thursday morning Deputy Brandon Shirley died in the hospital after being shot while working at Rockford Lane Auto Sales, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Although he was off-duty, Shirley was in uniform and acting in the line of duty, Sheriff John Aubrey said.

During a news conference, Major George Grissom said Deputy Shirley was very active and proactive in the community. "He was courageous, a good deputy and was well-liked," Maj. Grissom said.

Deputy Shirley had worked with the sheriff's department for two years with the Court Divison. He joined the department in March 2019. 

Before that, Shirley served as an EMT with Louisville Metro EMS.

"He was a great EMT, he definitely loved his job, he wanted to be here. He wanted to help people, that's who he was as a person," Major Mary Taylor said. 

Major Taylor said Shirley dreamed of becoming a deputy, continuing his life of service. 

"It meant everything to him, that's all he wanted to do," she said. 

Shirley also served as an EMT for Kentucky Kingdom. The park issued a statement saying in part "Brandon was a valued and beloved member of our park family as an EMT for four seasons, and he will be missed dearly by all those who knew him. As the Kentucky Kingdom team mourns his loss, we would like to also send our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time." 

Shirley received a medal of valor for his work during protests in 2020, specifically his work responding to the shooting of photographer Tyler Gerth and helping arrest the person who shot him, Sheriff Aubrey said. 

To Major Taylor, the honor and the act came as no surprise. 

"He would have given you the shirt off his back. He was just a great human," she said.

The 26-year-old Deputy was a graduate and former baseball player at Fairdale High School. 

Shirley also worked as a Louisville Metro EMT and served at Kentucky Kingdom for four years.

The Louisville Metro Police Foundation is collecting donations in support of Shirley's family. The money will go towards burial expenses and unexpected costs. Those who wish to donate may do so at saferlouisville.org, on the foundations Facebook page, or on Venmo at @LouisvilleMetro-PoliceFoundati. (This is the correct Venmo name though some letters are missing.)

Please join us in supporting the family of Deputy Brandon Shirley. Deputy Shirley made the ultimate sacrifice early this...

Posted by Louisville Metro Police Foundation on Thursday, August 5, 2021

RELATED: Jefferson County sheriff's deputy dead after ambush in Shively

RELATED: History of Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies killed by gunfire in the line of duty

RELATED: Louisville Metro leaders, Tyler Gerth family, Gov. Beshear react to the murder of Jefferson County Deputy Brandon Shirley

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WATCH full news conference here: