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Funeral Held For Slain Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy; Reward For Info Increased

Family and friends of Jefferson County Deputy Brandon Shirley carry his casket into the hearse.
Family and friends of Jefferson County Deputy Brandon Shirley carry his casket into the hearse.

The family of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Shirley held his funeral Wednesday afternoon, less than a week after police say he was “ambushed,” shot and killed.

Around 1,500 people attended the service at Southeast Christian Church, including officers from across Kentucky and Indiana. The 26-year-old was killed last week while working an off-duty security job in Shively around 2:30 a.m. Police Chief Erika Shields said at a press conference following the shooting that investigators believe Shirley was “targeted” and “ambushed.” Friends and family of Shirley spoke at his funeral, calling him a great deputy and a great man.

Jefferson County Lt. Trevor Clark said he knew Shirley when he was an EMT and encouraged him to become a sheriff’s deputy. He recounted his bravery when Shirley responded to a shooting at Jefferson Square Park during a protest last June where 27-year-old Tyler Gerth was killed.

“It was Brandon who helped put the cuffs on the shooter, and it was Brandon who helped drag him from the crowd,” Clark said. “It was Brandon who then ran toward the victim and pleaded with the heavily armed protesters, trying to convince them he was an EMT and he was there to help the dying man.” 

Shirley, who joined the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in 2019, earned a medal of valor for his actions that night. He regularly worked in the department’s court security division.

Shirley’s father, Brian Shirley, shared stories from his son’s childhood. He said it was clear from an early age that Shirley wanted to become a first responder.

“There’s not a person that didn’t like him, not a person that didn’t love him,” he said.
“There’s not anybody he didn’t feel the same way about.”

Following the church service, Shirley was laid to rest at Cave Hill Cemetery. 

Police have released no new details about the shooting or potential suspects. On Wednesday, the Louisville Metro Police Foundation announced they were increasing a reward for information leading to an arrest from $50,000 to $75,000.

The ATF and FBI are assisting Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit in investigating the incident. On Monday, they asked residents and businesses located close to Rockford Lane Auto Sales, 2618 Rockford Ln, to share any security footage they may have from the morning of August 5.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the FBI’s Louisville Field Office at (502) 263-6000, the ATF tip line at (888) ATF-TIPS, or the Louisville Metro Police Department at (502) 502-574-LMPD (5673).

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the police chief's name as Erika Shields and the name of the church as Southeastern Christian Church.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.

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