COWLITZ COUNTY, WA (KPTV) - The family of fallen Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier released their first public statements Monday, after he was shot and killed in the line of duty.
“You’ve probably heard this before, but Justin was larger than life. He had the biggest heart, the heart of a protector. He would drop everything just to be there for you. He was never further than just one call away,” said Jenna DeRosier, the deputy’s sister.
Jenna spoke for their parents, as well as Justin’s wife and baby daughter.
“There are no words to describe the depth of love he had for them, and they for him,” she said of Justin’s wife Katie and 5-month-old daughter Lily.
Deputy Justin DeRosier, 29, was shot on Fallert Road near Kalama River Road after responding to a report of a disabled motorhome the night of April 13. Investigators said the man who shot DeRosier was killed by law enforcement the next night in the Kalama area while the suspect was armed with a semi-automatic handgun and carrying 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine.
Justin’s family said he loved going to work every single day, adding that law enforcement wasn’t just his job, it was his calling.
“We truly believe that had Justin known that call was his last, he still would have gone. He was that kind of man,” his sister said.
The family thanked dispatchers, first responders, paramedics and trauma teams that worked to try to save his life. They also thanked the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Behind the Badge Foundation for their support, while also showing appreciation for the support from the community.
“We feel your hearts, prayers and goodness surrounding us and it gives us great comfort and courage during this incredibly difficult and painful time. My family and I thank you,” Jenna said.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Earle A. & Virginia H. Chiles Center at the University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland.
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