KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In the days following Knox County Deputy Tucker Blakely‘s death, the community has banded together to support his family. Now, national non-profit organizations are also working to help the family.
On Sunday, October 1, Blakely was shot while responding to a domestic call. He was taken to UT Medical Center, but Sheriff Tom Spangler announced Blakely’s death the following evening. Blakely leaves behind his wife and their 5-year-old son.
The Knox County Chapter of the Tennessee Police Benevolent Foundation (PBF), the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and Blue Line Tennessee are some of the organizations looking to help Blakely’s family.
According to a release from the organization, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation will be paying off Blakely’s mortgage. The organization pays off mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty, or die from 9/11-related illnesses and leave behind young children.
“Deputy Blakely was a true superhero, who answered the call to serve at every opportunity in his life. He protected us at home and abroad. It was an honor to tell Katarina that the Tunnel to Towers Foundation will take care of her family, by ensuring they can stay in the home they shared with Tucker forever,” said Chairman and CEO Frank Siller.
The Tennessee PBF is also working to raise funds for Blakely’s family in coordination with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Donations can be made on the PBF’s website, which says 100% of the funds will go directly to Blakely’s family.
PBF provides financial support to the families of officers who die in the line of duty, funds scholarships for children of law enforcement officers, and educates officers and their families about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Blue Line Tennessee is raising money on GoFundMe for the Blakely family. They are also selling stickers, sweatshirts, and shirts on the Blue Line Tennessee website honoring Deputy Tucker Blakely. All proceeds will benefit the Blakely family.
Since Blakely’s death, law enforcement officers have worn a black line over their badges, called a mourning band, and a memorial for Blakely was placed outside the City-County Building in Knoxville. Flags at the State Capitol were flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of Blakely as well.
Before joining law enforcement, Blakely served in the U.S. Army. The former Powell High School student graduated from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Academy in November 2021. According to Spangler, Blakely was an organ donor.
Spangler also said Blakely was on his last patrol shift the night of the shooting. He had just been selected to become a K-9 handler.