FORT PIERCE, Fla. - The family of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputy Sergeant Gary Morales, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop, broke their silence on Friday night hoping to put into words what the 35-year-old meant to them.
Morales' older brother, Brian Morales, has only photos now of the bond that was four strong.
"There's Gary, there's Brad, Kenny and my dad. This is the last photo I believe," said a tearful Brian Morales.
In the matter of just seconds, the Morales family was ripped apart Thursday Morning.
"They shot Gary, they shot Gary. They took him away, they shot him," recalled Brian Morales of how he found out about his brother.
Brian Morales is one of the three brothers of Sergeant Gary Morales, who investigators said was shot and killed by Eriese Tisdale, 25.
DETAILS ON SGT. MORALES' FUNERAL MONDAY ARE FOUND HERE.
"It just hurts because I'm the big brother. I'm the oldest and you have that mentality that the big brother protects the little brothers. But I couldn't be there for him. You know I wish it was me instead," said Briand Morales.
Sgt. Gary Morales never made it out of his car Thursday morning. Deputies said Tisdale never gave him a chance to get his foot on the ground.
"This person has no idea what they have done. And it's going to echo for years and years and years," said Brian Morales. "My brother had two daughters. What do you tell them?"
Brian Morales said the community lost a peace keeper, Gary Morales' wife lost a loving husband and his two young daughters lost their dad. Brian Morales said he has lost part of his heart.
"I'm just sitting in the patio, my parents courtyard looking at the front door because Gary always comes in and he'll scream 'hey!' and make his presence known. He likes to make real elaborate entrances. I just stared at that door for a few hours and just nothing, nothing. He's never going to come through that door," said Brian Morales.
Brian Morales will never get to watch his young brother continue to grow in the law enforcement community he loved, a humble man who rarely spoke of his accomplishments.
What Brian Morales will miss the most is how his younger brother always made him smile. He said the man who many considered a rising star, leaves behind a trail of light that Brian Morales said will not burn out.
"My brother, he didn't deserve the way it went down," said Brian Morales. "But his legacy, he's a hero, will live on."
Sign the guest book for Sgt. Gary Morales http://bit.ly/WDwLit