KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Tributes have poured in following Knox County sheriff’s deputy Tucker Blakely’s death in the line of duty, including some from his high school alma mater.
Blakely was shot while responding to a domestic dispute at the 3200 block of Denver Lane on Sunday night. He was transferred to UT Medical Center where he died a day later. The suspect, Matthew Rose was shot and killed as well.
M.J. Robinson was Blakely’s band director at Powell High School. “We clicked immediately because we had a very similar sense of humor,” Robinson said. “In terms of people wouldn’t think Tucker took anything seriously yet he did. He took his relationships very seriously, he took his commitments very seriously.”
Blakley devoted his life to serving others. He joined the U.S. Army prior to becoming a police officer.
“He was a natural leader on the field because of his charisma and in the concert ensemble as well because of his charisma and enthusiasm and his caring for others,” Robinson said.
Robinson said Blakely played the saxophone and described his unique sense of humor.
“If you just look at any of the pictures of him and see that smile, that personified who he was as a person,” Robinson said. “That smile says it all. He was kind, he was funny, he was empathetic. He was hands down one of the most hilarious individuals I’ve ever met.”
Sheriff Tom Spangler with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said Blakely was an organ donor. He leaves behind his wife and five-year-old son amongst other family members and friends.
“Brilliant, effervescent smile that came from a place deep down inside that was rooted in his heart and his soul because that was the essence of Tucker,” she said.
The flags outside of the high school were flown at half-staff on Tuesday in observance of Blakely’s tragic death.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.