A 26-year-old Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed in the early hours of Thursday morning while working an off-duty security job in Shively.
Sheriff John Aubrey said Deputy Brandon Shirley was sitting in his unmarked vehicle at Rockford Lane Auto Sales around 2:30 a.m. when someone walked up to the car and shot him. Shirley was transported to the University of Louisville Hospital where he died from his injuries. The Louisville Metro Police Department is taking the lead on investigating the shooting.
LMPD Chief Erika Shields said at a Thursday morning press conference that investigators do not believe the incident was random.
“We can say with a feeling of confidence that he was targeted and that he was ambushed,” she said.
While police are releasing few details about the shooting, Shields said they have some potential suspects. She said LMPD does not want to jeopardize the investigation or future prosecution by discussing the incident at length.
“It is just sickening,” Shields said. “We will make an arrest. We will make an arrest. And I just can’t express my condolences enough to all of you.”
Officials from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Shirley joined the department about two years ago. He worked in the court security division.
Spokesperson Lt. Col. Carl Yates said Shirley had recently received a medal of valor for being one of the first to respond to a shooting during last year’s racial justice protests where 27-year-old Tyler Gerth was killed.
“He was a very young deputy, very active, very proactive and courageous,” Yates said. “[He was] a good deputy. Very well-liked.”
Yates said Shirley was the fifth Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy in the department’s history to die in the line of duty.