LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Off-duty Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy dies after being shot in Shively


A Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy shot early Thursday morning has died.

An emotional Sheriff John Aubrey announced at a news conference that Deputy Brandon Shirley, 26, died after emergency surgery at University Hospital.

Shirley was off-duty, in uniform and sitting in an unmarked car working security at Rockford Lane Auto Sales on Rockford Lane, when a gunman came up to the window and shot him at about 2:30 a.m. He was rushed to the hospital, but Aubrey said "his wounds proved to be too extensive, and he did not survive."

Officers from different agencies gathered at the hospital hours later to escort his body to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office in eastern Jefferson County.

Sheriff Aubrey called Shirley's death "tragic and senseless." He requested that Louisville Metro Police handle the investigation.

LMPD Chief Erika Shields expressed condolences to Shirley's family and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office calling the shooting "absolutely heartbreaking and wholly unnecessary."

Chief Shields said there is limited information that can be released about the investigation, but she did say they "can say with a feeling of confidence that he was targeted, and he was ambushed." She said "it is just sickening."

Shields said investigators do potentially have a "couple of suspects." She assured the public, "We will make an arrest. We will make an arrest."

"I understand the want to get information, but we really have to play this close to the vest until we know we can get a conviction," said Shields.

LMPD worked the crime scene for hours at the car lot centering the investigation on a red truck. It appears that is where Deputy Shirley was sitting, when the shooting happened.

Police are looking for any surveillance video in the area from around the time of the shooting. They are also asking anyone with information to call the LMPD tip line at 502-574-LMPD (5673).

Sheriff Aubrey said that Shirley became a deputy on March 18, 2019 and was assigned to court security downtown.

Shirley was awarded the Medal of Valor at the department's last award program for his actions during social justice protests last year. Shirley received the honor for running into the crowd to help Tyler Gerth, the photographer shot and killed in Jefferson Square last summer.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement on social media offering support. "Our entire city grieves with the family of Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Shirley, as well as with his Sheriff's Office family & our public safety community. This is another senseless, tragic act of violence, & @LMPD will work tirelessly to bring accountability."

LMPD extended its support to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on social media. The post read, "We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Sheriff John Aubrey and the Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Office on the death of Deputy Brandon Shirley. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

Metro Council President David James, a former LMPD officer, offered is condolences on behalf of council. "Deputy Shirley answered the call to keep all of us safe and uphold the law. He leaves us at an age too young. This is a reminder of all the dangers faced by those who decide to wear a badge. We grieve with those who all knew him and pray for his family in their time of mourning."