LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wednesday, fallen Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Brandon Shirley was laid to rest. The 26-year-old was ambushed while working an off-duty security job at Rockford Lane Auto Sales Aug. 5.
Police believe the murder was targeted and multiple law enforcement agencies are offering a $75k reward for information that could lead to an arrest and conviction.
"We'll find them," Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Shawn Morrow said. "They will be arrested, and we will get justice for Brandon Shirley and his family."
The funeral took place at Noon at Southeast Christian Church on Blankenbaker Parkway. The procession for burial started at Southeast and traveled onto I-64 West. It will exit onto Grinstead, turn onto Cherokee Road to Baxter Avenue.
Shirley was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in the Highlands.
At the service, more than 1,500 people were in attendance and Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey spoke on the importance of how having some many supporting agencies on hand.
“As I was standing there watching everyone come in, I kept looking up at Brandon's photos," Aubrey said. "And it crossed my mind, he would say ‘What’s this all about, what’s this all going on for me. I’ll tell you Brandon it is for you.”
Aubrey recounted a firsthand experience of Shirley's commitment to the community. He told a story of a blind woman entering the courthouse and looking for a specific courtroom. Deputy Shirley not only told her where her destination was located but took her by the hand and guided her to the room.
"It captured a moment, and it captures what Brandon really is and was," Aubrey said.
Shirley's father, Brian, was joined at the pulpit by the deputy's brothers in speaking on what he meant to their family and the legacy he is leaving behind.
“Everything you are hearing about my son is absolutely true," Brian Shirley said. "There’s not a person that didn’t like him. There’s not a person that didn’t love him. There’s not anybody he didn’t feel the same way about.”
He wanted to make the it clear to those in attendance that the service was not in mourning, rather a time to celebrate his life.
“This is not a celebration of my son’s death," Brian Shirley said. "This is a celebration of his life. He’s never going to be gone from us. He’s touching us right now, in every way we know possible.”
The procession arrived at Cave Hill cemetery shortly after 2 p.m. A crowd of community members had gathered to watch as well.
"We have a law enforcement officer in our family and it hit home," Don Seibert said.
A horse drawn caisson, emblazoned with a blue line to represent Shirley's service, brought the casket to the gravesite.
"Its a brotherhood and sisterhood no matter what color that line on the flag is, or what the badge says, we're all a big family," Zoneton Fire Chief Kevin Moulton said.
The service also included a 3 volley salute, a traditional part of military funerals. After, flags were presented to Shirley's parents and life partner.
"You just never know when you're going to get that call. You hope you don't but you never know," Seibert said.
Then, dispatchers took over the radio system to announced a last call for Deputy Brandon Shirley. "Amazing Grace" ended the service.
"It's a sad day for the family, a sad day for the Jefferson County Sheriff's office," Moulton said.
Wednesday night, the Big Four Bridge was lit blue in Shirley's honor.