PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Justin DeRosier, who was 29 years old when he was shot to death in the line of duty, had “the heart of a protector,” his sister told media on Monday.
Speaking for the first time since the Cowlitz County deputy died on April 14, the DeRosier family said law enforcement was his calling.
“Justin always wanted to be a cop and he was the best one I knew,” his sister Jenna said. “He loved going to work every single day.”
She said the family believes if Justin knew that call would be his last, he would still have gone.
“He was that kind of man,” Jenna said.
She also spoke about Justin’s character. He had the heart of a protector and was always there for his loved ones.
I lost my brother and he was my best friend. My parents lost their son. They loved him so much and we’re so incredibly proud of him. Katie lost her husband and the love of her life. Their daughter Lilly lost her daddy. Words fail to describe that loss.
The family also thanked dispatchers, first responders, paramedics, LifeFlight and trauma teams that worked hard to try to save Justin’s life.
“We would especially like to thank the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and Behind the Badge Foundation for their blanket of support as we move through our grief,” Jenna said. “We are in awe of the work they’re doing on our behalf.”
Watch the family’s full statement
The memorial for DeRosier will be held Wednesday, April 24, at the Chiles Center in Portland. The procession is set to start at the intersection of Washington Street and 7th Avenue in Longview. It will proceed south on 7th Avenue, turn up through Tennant Way and Frontage Way moving northbound onto Third Avenue, then First Avenue and eastbound over the Allen Street Bridge to I-5.
Those who wish to pay tribute to DeRosier should be in place along the route by 10 a.m.