HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The family of officer Billy Clardy III, shot and killed in line of duty Friday, now joins a group of people who share the same pain -- the loss of a loved on in the line of duty.
Clardy was gunned down on Levert Street by LaJeromeny Brown, 41, according to police. Brown is charged with capital murder.
As the sun rose the day after Clardy was killed, dozens of his brothers in arms packed the fallen officer memorial in Huntsville. Chief Mark McMurray says Clardy’s name will soon be etched on the memorial.
“We’re wounded and we’re hurting but we’re going to get through," said Huntsville Police Chief McMurray. “They’re here to let you know that we haven’t given up.”
“I can only imagine what Mrs. Clardy was feeling at that moment," stated an emotional Tarsha Earle. "Just as if it were a dream and you want someone to wake you up from that dream.”
Earle is the widow of the last Huntsville police officer to die in the line of duty. Officer Keith Earle died in a head-on crash April 2018.
“To be honest with you I don’t think it will ever get to the point where it feels real," stated Earle. "It’s just something where we have to accept that it has happened and figure out a way to go on with life.”
Earle says the grieving process for the family is lot like the one for officers -- long and hard.
She and her husband knew Officer Clardy well. Clardy was described as compassionate and courageous, according to Earle.
Her message to Clardy family: “I’m deeply sorry for your loss. I do understand what you’re going through because I, too, have done it. It may not be from the same nature of death, but the thing is - a death is a death. They were both doing something that they love to do and it was in the line of duty.”
Brandon Clardy is the son of the fallen officer. He took to Facebook to share an emotional message about his dad.
It may be the end of watch for Officer Clardy, but for many people it’s the beginning of his new watch over them from above.
“Billy Clardy was more than a Huntsville hero. He was an American Hero," expressed Chief McMurray.