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Deputy Garry Chambliss: Public viewing held for corrections deputy one week after deadly shooting

Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-27 07:40:06-04

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- It has been a week, and still no one has been arrested for shooting and killing Indian River County Corrections Deputy Garry Chambliss.

Chambliss was hit by a stray bullet, according to Indian River County Investigators, while he was standing outside a friend’s home in Gifford.


Sheriff Deryl Loar says he has a good idea who is responsible, but the silence from potential witnesses is keeping detectives from solving the case.


Friday evening, hundreds of people attended a public viewing for Chambliss.


RELATED: Gifford community meets to brainstorm ways to solve the shooting death of Deputy Garry Chambliss


“Once I had seen him in the casket, now it’s reality. I didn’t want it to be, I wanted to wake up from the dream,” said Chambliss’ best friend, Reginald Penny.


Penny says Chambliss was like a brother to him.


“We’ve been best friends since the 6th grade…All my four children, he was their godfather. I’m his kids’ godfather,” Penny said.


Nearly 200 employees of the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office also attended the viewing.


Deputies Michelle Beck and Cornelia Harris were his coworkers in the corrections unit.


They want to see someone behind bars for killing their beloved colleague.


“His smile and just how he can make everyone laugh,” Harris remembered.


“He cared for you not only inside work, but outside work also,” Beck said.


His absence is impacting the entire jail, they say.


“He gave positive influence not only to our coworkers, but to the inmates,” Beck said.


“They’re more quiet. I think they’re more quiet because they know we’re emotional,” Harris said of the inmates.


Darrell Rivers is a Vero Beach Police Officer who also attended the viewing. He said he knew Chambliss nearly 30 years.


Not being able to help solve this crime hurts, he says. “I feel like I’m helpless and I can’t do anything. That’s what hurts me more than anything as a law enforcement officer,” Rivers said.  “Someone in the community knows what happened. Somebody in the community knows who shot Garry.”


There is still a $5,000 reward for anyone who gives detectives information that leads to an arrest.