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Deputy Brandon Shirley's family, community mourns his loss one year later

"As soon as my eyes open, first thing I think of is my son."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's been one year since Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Shirley was shot and killed in the line of duty.

"It's just pain, and anguish and heartbreak. No parent should have to bury his kid. I've said it 100 times." his father, Brian Shirley, said. "Not because Brandon was my son but he was truly the best man I ever met in my life."

Shirley died after being shot while working an off-duty security job at Rockford Lane Auto Sales in Shively around 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2021.

"As soon as my eyes open, first thing I think of is my son," Brian said. "I wish that I could look at my wife and tell her I can make the pain go away, but I can't."

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

Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields said Shirley was "targeted and ambushed."

"This is not something that happens to the sheriff's office," Commander of Community Services, Lt. Carl Yates, said. "Brandon was the kind of guy that walked into the room and lit up the room."

Previously, the 26-year-old worked as an EMT with Louisville Metro EMS and at Kentucky Kingdom.

During Friday's memorial, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office dedicated a wooden plaque carved in the shape of a badge with Shirley’s name on it to the late deputy.

It's intended placement will be outside the Hall of Justice.

Two men arrested for Shirley's death

In January 2022, two men were arrested in connection to Shirley's death.

According to Louisville Metro Police, Jesse Christopher and Marquis Mitchell were indicted by a grand jury after the case was presented by the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in conjunction with the LMPD Public Integrity Unit. 

District 13 Metro Councilman Mark Fox, who oversees Fairdale, where the Shirley family is from, said the arrests will hopefully give the family a sense of peace.

"There's a sense of relief that at least family and friends of Deputy Shirley can begin to heal a bit more," Fox said. "While this starts the process, that is a lifelong process." 

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