Sgt. Gary Morales family reflects one year after tragedy

Sergeant killed in traffic stop near Fort Pierce

This Friday will mark one year since St. Lucie County Sergeant Gary Morales was killed in the line of duty. deputy was killed in the line of duty.


The Morales family spent every holiday together among the four brothers and their families. Now with one member missing, it's important for them not to let those traditions disappear.


Ken Morales says he has good days and bad days.


"Gary is always in our hearts and in our minds. I have pictures of Gary everywhere. Every other day I find myself, crying."


Ken's brother, Sgt. Gary Morales, was killed February 28 during a traffic stop near Fort Pierce. The boisterous energy from this father of two, silenced.


"With any party we had, you knew Gary was there," remembers Ken Morales.


Shot glasses are part of a display case full of mementos. Gary's favorite liquor, Disaronno Amaretto, is shared now during holidays.


"We're coping as a family, but also as a family we're still grieving very much," said Ken Morales.


Ken's son, Nicholas, a 16 year-old high school sophomore, spoke at the funeral last year. He said his uncle was his best friend.


"We would tell each other things we wouldn't tell anybody else and he would always give me advice," said Nicholas.


Despite what happened, Nicholas will pursue a career in law enforcement. He is a member of the Explorers.


"I always had that urge to go out on the street and get people who are doing things they're not supposed to be doing," Nicholas added.


"If that's what he wants to do, I'm all for it. He knows I'll tell him everyday be careful, be careful and pray for him every single day," added Ken Morales.


Gary Morales' hat and holster are now Nicholas'. The next generation preparing to protect and serve.


On Friday, the anniversary day, many of the Morales' family will meet privately with St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara.


As for Sgt. Morales' suspected killer, Eriese Tisdale, his case may not come to trial before next year.

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