KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Philadelphia police officer has painted the portrait of Knox County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tucker Blakely, who died after he was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call Sunday night.
Officer and forensic artist Jonny Castro has been painting portraits of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and military service members who died in the line of duty for the last seven years. He explained that during that time, he painted an estimated 1,300 portraits to share the stories of those who died while serving others.
“I heard his story when he passed away and I got started in his portrait kind of right away. So it took me about a little over a day to do and, you know, I just did my best to capture his likeness and share his story.” Castro said.
He said the death of each officer killed in the line of duty hits home for everyone who serves in law enforcement.
“Every time you hear that one of these officers were killed in the line of duty, the way that Tucker was, it’s heartbreaking because. You’ve been in that situation before you, you went to these houses on domestic disturbance calls not knowing, you know, what was waiting for you and unfortunately, Tucker lost his life doing that,” Castro explained. “Every time an officer was killed in the line of duty, we all feel it, all across the country, you know, every single one of us, aware that that… it’s hard and it’s hard to know what his family is going through right now as well.”
Each portrait usually takes Castro between six and eight hours to complete and is shipped to the family of the fallen officer free of charge. Castro said Blakely’s portrait will be shipped on Thursday.