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Candlelight vigil planned in Fairdale for fallen Jefferson County sheriff's deputy

The vigil is set for 9 p.m. Friday, right by the roundabout near the fire department. Organizers say many of them are already working to get supplies.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hundreds in the Fairdale neighborhood are banding together to set up a memorial for one of its own— fallen Sheriff's Office Deputy Brandon Shirley, who was shot and killed while working security early Thursday morning.

The police support group called Supporting Heroes said earlier that the entire community should take Shirley's death personally.

People in Fairdale, where he lived, is doing just that. They’re already planning a candlelight vigil in Shirley's honor. It's set for 9 p.m. Friday, right by the roundabout near the fire department.

And from a police-escorted procession, to an early memorial built by neighbors, many worked Thursday to send their own messages of respect and support.

Credit: WHAS11
Deputy Brian Shirley and a memorial for him in Fairdale.

As of Thursday evening, a memorial created solely by neighbors featured a cross, with a message reading “R.I.P. Brandon,” along with flowers and a sign showing details for the vigil—all in effort to ensure a proper send-off.

"He had a passion to serve the community, and that's exactly why he was killed, and that's the tragedy," said Eric Johnson, executive director at Supporting Heroes, Inc.

The greater Louisville community is in mourning, as it tries to come to terms with the loss of Deputy Shirley, who was also an EMT for years.

RELATED: What we know about Deputy Brandon Shirley who died after being 'targeted, ambushed,' LMPD says

"It should be considered an attack on every citizen because he represents what's good in society," Johnson said.

City leaders have called the incident an ambush.

"A real senseless tragedy," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

"It is just sickening, and we will make an arrest," LMPD Chief Erika Shields said.

The act of violence is leading many to ask, “Why?”

"He was killed simply because he was a police officer," Johnson said.

With answers still limited, and suspect(s) not yet named, law enforcement escorted the fallen deputy down Dixie Highway and to Owen Funeral Home Thursday afternoon.

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

At the very same time, hundreds of comments flooding in on Facebook, calling on the community to act and "pull together and show support."

"It's an acknowledgement that there is evil in the world, and it takes good solid brave people to stand in the way and protect the innocent," Johnson said.

Whether it be a vigil, or a small memorial created solely by neighbors, a community is pushing through pain right now to make sure Deputy Shirley will be remembered.

Fairdale organizers tell WHAS11 many of them are working to get blue lights to decorate a tree on Friday, lighting it up in his honor.

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