||The Officer Down Memorial Page
Deputy First Class Brandon Coates was on Tactical Patrol on Orange County's south side during the evening of December 8, 2010, when something went horribly wrong. Brandon's final radio transmission to the agency's communications center stated that he was making a traffic stop on a white pickup truck. Minutes later the agency started to receive 9-1-1 calls from citizens stating that a Deputy Sheriff had been shot and that a white pickup truck was seen speeding away from the shooting scene. Twenty-seven year old Brandon was rushed to a hospital, but there was little that could be done for the deputy. He died from his injuries. The suspect's unoccupied vehicle would later be located at an apartment complex not far from the murder scene. During an extensive search for a suspect, the body of a man, later identified as Brandon's murderer, was found in a wooded area with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
When a law enforcement agency loses one of its own to a senseless and unthinkable act of violence the community those deputies and police officers serve seems to pause for a brief moment and breathe a collective, sad sigh. Some will silently grieve the loss, while others will express open outrage. And then, the community moves on... until the next time. Well, almost everyone.
As anyone who has lost a loved one to an act of violence knows, the memory of their husbands, sons, and daughters, and the act that took them, will linger forever. There is little we can do but honor and pay our silent tribute to the men and women, we all too often take for granted, whose lives are taken from them while they serve and protect our community.