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2 Charged In Ambush Murder Of Jefferson County Deputy Shirley

Louisville, KY – Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Shirley, investigators confirmed Thursday.

Deputy Shirley, 26, was in uniform working an off-duty security job at a used car lot located on Rockford Lane near Dover Road on Aug. 5, 2021, when he came under attack at approximately 2:30 a.m., WLKY reported.

He was sitting in his unmarked vehicle when an unidentified suspect suddenly walked up and shot him, LMPD Spokesperson Alicia Smiley told reporters shortly after the incident, according to WAVE.

Deputy Shirley was able to use his radio to call for help, according to the Courier Journal.

JCSO Lieutenant Colonel Carl Yates said Deputy Shirley was transported to the University of Louisville Hospital and rushed into surgery, WLKY reported.

Deputy Shirley died of his wounds during the emergency procedure, according to the Courier Journal.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer held a joint press conference with state and federal law enforcement agencies on Thursday to announce the arrests of 28-year-old Christopher Johnson and 18-year-old Marquis Mitchell, WLKY reported.

Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Chief Erika Shields refused to provide details regarding what led to the suspects’ arrests.

“I wish we can answer more questions, but right now our priority is a conviction,” Chief Shields said. “We want all of this evidence to come out and convict these individuals, put them away where they belong, caged like animals.”

Johnson and Mitchell’s arraignments are scheduled for Jan. 18, WLKY reported.

Deputy Shirley’s family had been waiting for an arrest to be made for months.

“Our son, Brandon, dedicated his career to public service and the pursuit of justice for all,” they said in a statement to WLKY after the announcement was made. “Today’s indictments mark a significant step forward in obtaining justice for Brandon. Thank you to the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and this community for your work on this case.”

“We have many unanswered questions, including why our son was murdered,” the slain deputy’s family added. “We continue to pray for answers, sooner rather than later, and give thanks for the hope, love, and support that we’ve received.”

Deputy Shirley joined the JCSO on March 18, 2019 and was assigned to court security, Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey told WDRB.

“He loved being a deputy sheriff, and he was a good one,” Sheriff Aubrey said.

Deputy Shirley was awarded the Medal of Valor shortly before his murder.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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