KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Sheriff’s Office set up a memorial in honor of a fallen deputy outside the City County Building in Knoxville Wednesday afternoon.
The memorial honored Deputy Tucker Blakely, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic call Sunday night. It featured Blakely’s patrol car, and a wreath with his name on it.
Other deputies and members of the community came by throughout the day, adding more memorabilia to the display.
Chris Olson is a retired Knox County sheriff’s deputy who stopped by the memorial to pay his respects.
“It’s the brotherhood. Even after we retire, we don’t retire we go into a support role. When things like this happen, especially at your home agency, at your alma mater, it hits hard,” Olson said.
Olson worked as a deputy for 20 years before retiring in 2011. He made a lasered wood carving that featured a photo of Blakely, his name and the American flag to leave by the patrol car.
“Hopefully it’ll be something that his wife can hang up in the room that she’ll memorialize him with and it’ll bring her comfort,” he said.
Jason Acuff is also a retired deputy who set candles in front of the patrol car.
“That’s still family, I retired in 2014 and that’s still a brother,” Acuff said.
One deputy laid a flag over the car for people to sign with messages to Blakely and his family. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs stopped by to sign the flag.
“I think it’s very important to do things like this because all of us as a community feel the loss. Also, to let Officer Blakely’s family understand that we all are thinking about them. We’re all praying for them and this is something folks can look at and see that that’s true,” Jacobs said.
Olson said he wasn’t surprised by the amount of law enforcement visiting the memorial, and that there’s nothing they can do to repay those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Officers will still show up, even with all the problems that we’re having in society today, they still show up to do the job, and those people need to be applauded. They need to be supported and when they fall in the line of duty, their families need to be supported,” Olson said.
The community will also have a chance to pay their respects on Friday at Blakely’s celebration of life. Blakely will lie in state starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 6, at Clear Springs Baptist Church, 7350 Tazewell Pike in Corryton. His celebration of life will start at 2 p.m. The public is welcome to pay their respects starting at 10 a.m. and are welcome to stay for the celebration of life.