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Community mourns Brevard County deputy killed in off-duty accident

WFTV Channel 9 Orlando
WFTV Channel 9 Orlando
 2022-12-05
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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — New details have been released about the death of 23-year-old Brevard County Deputy Austin Walsh.

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The sheriff’s office said Walsh’s roommate, who is also a Brevard County deputy, accidentally shot Walsh Saturday morning.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said the past two days have been the toughest of his career, as he lost two deputies from the BCSO family.

People who knew Walsh said he lived his dream every day.

“The interest in law enforcement, that was always there,” lifelong friend Freddy Calderon said.

Ivey said Walsh had joined the sheriff’s office when he was 18, but he had served and volunteered as a member of its Explorer program for several years prior.

“He loved the field of law enforcement and had always dreamed of becoming a sheriff’s deputy,” Ivey said.

That dream was cut short.

Ivey said Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators found Walsh’s death to be accidental.

“Unfortunately for us though, that’s not where this tragedy ends,” Ivey said.

Ivey said Walsh and Deputy Andrew Lawson had taken a break from playing video games when Lawson pulled out his gun and jokingly pointed it at Walsh, not knowing that the gun was loaded.

Lawson pulled the trigger and the single round killed Walsh.

Calderon said he is devastated by the passing of his friend because they were the same age, with years left to accomplish more in life.

But he said he is proud to have known him as he impacted those around him.

“I’m proud of all the stuff he did,” Calderon said. “Because that inspires others, even myself, to continue achieving our goals and dreams.”

Lawson was taken into custody Sunday on a no-bond warrant for manslaughter with a firearm. He is in the Brevard County jail and Ivey said that while Lawson is distraught, he is cooperating with investigators.

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