LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Family and fellow officers gathered Friday to mark one year since Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Shirley was shot and killed.

Shirley, 26, was working an off-duty security job at Rockford Lane Auto Sales on Rockford Lane near Shively. Police said he was in uniform in an unmarked car when a gunman came up to the window and shot him around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 5, 2021. He died at the hospital.

At the ceremony at Louisville's Hall of Justice where Shirley worked, there were hugs and tears from those who knew and loved the deputy. 

Shirley's father spoke and described the past year with two words: anguish and heartbreak. 

"Trying to come terms with the fact that my son's not here anymore, trying to realize that he's gone and not understanding that he's gone is very hard for us," Brian Shirley, the fallen deputy's father, said Friday. "I wish I could look at my wife and tell her that I could make the pain go away. But I can't." 

The young deputy was described as someone with a contagious smile and laugh, who chose a life to protect and serve. 

"No parent should have to bury his kid," Brian Shirley said. 

On Friday, a replica of Brandon Shirley's badge was revealed. It will hang above the door of the Sheriff's Office in the Hall of Justice.

"We will leave this small token of honor at Post 1, where he worked, to remind all those who cast a look upon it, heroes work here," Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey said. "One of them gave his life to make a small measure of difference. His name was Deputy Brandon Shirley,"

Two suspects were arrested and charged with murder. Jesse Christopher Johnson, 29, and Marquis Mitchell, 19, both pleaded not guilty.

"(Brandon) was truly the best man I've ever met in my life," Brian Shirley said. "Now, we just hope for justice."

Related Stories:

Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.