A deputy in Henry County, Missouri is using music to honor a fellow officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Officer Gary Michael was killed during a traffic stop in Clinton last week.
Days after the tragedy, a fellow law enforcement member wrote a song in honor of his friend and brother in blue.
Henry County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chase Curl knew Michael from their early days in the profession.
“At first I knew him as a fellow cadet in the academy. We went to the Central Missouri Police Academy.”
The two eventually landed positions in Clinton, where Michael had dreams of becoming an officer even from a young age.
Curl said the two officers would often talk with one another when both were on the night shift.
“I’d be coming in to town or coming out of town and he would flash me down with his lights or something… and we’d just sit there and catch up and talk. I went inside and turned my radio on. I heard some of the calls going out. At that point I kind of broke down.”
Shortly after Michael was shot to death, Curl turned to music to deal with the pain.
“I haven’t played (the guitar) in a long time. So I picked it up, two hours later the song was born.”
The song titled “Officer Down” is dedicated to his friend. (Watch the full video here.)
“I think the whole point of this song is not to focus on what happened… but to focus on how to cope with it.”
A way to deal with heartbreak and a way to honor an officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“What I take from it is… yeah, a great officer died but how did he die? He put his life out there for us.”
Curl posted the song to Facebook, and it has now been shared more than 9,000 times.
The suspect who shot and killed Officer Michael is now in custody and faces first degree murder charges.