Home News Kentucky deputy who received Medal of Valor killed in “targeted, ambush” attack

Kentucky deputy who received Medal of Valor killed in “targeted, ambush” attack


Mike Stunson

The Charlotte Observer

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy was killed early Thursday in what Kentucky police are calling a targeted shooting.

Brandon Shirley was a 26-year-old deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and had been with the department since 2019, according to Sheriff John Aubrey.

During a news conference live streamed by WLKY Thursday, Aubrey said Shirley was working an off-duty security job at a car lot in Shively when he was shot inside his vehicle around 2:30 a.m.. He was taken to University of Louisville hospital, but “his wounds proved to be too extensive and he did not survive,” Aubrey said.

The Louisville Metro Police Department is handling the investigation into the shooting. Police Chief Erika Shields said they have a couple of potential suspects.

Shields called the shooting “sickening” and “absolutely heartbreaking and wholly unnecessary.”

The deputy was targeted and ambushed during the shooting, she said.

“If someone is really determined to kill you, they will kill you. And that was the case here,” she said during the news briefing.

“We will make an arrest,” Shields said.

Shirley received the Medal of Valor last year after he ran into a crowd to help a photographer who was shot and killed during a protest in Louisville, according to the sheriff’s office.

“To lose a good deputy is paramount. To lose one under these circumstances makes it more difficult for everybody,” Maj. George Grissom said.

Shirley was described by Grissom as a deputy who everyone liked. “He was a good person, he was good to be around,” Grissom said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear sent his condolences Thursday morning following Shirley’s death.

“Britainy and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of Deputy Brandon Shirley, and to the brave members of the Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Department,” Beshear said. “We are forever grateful for Deputy Shirley’s bravery, selflessness and dedication to the people of the commonwealth.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout Kentucky also offered their condolences Thursday.

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