Daytona Beach, FL – Orange City Police Department (OCPD) Sergeant Kelly Jo Brubaker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Tuesday night.
The Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue and the Daytona Beach Police Department received a report that the off-duty, 49-year-old police sergeant fatally shot herself at the water’s edge near SunSplash Park at approximately 7:30 p.m., The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
Sgt. Brubaker’s body was found in the surf, floating in approximately two feet of water, police said.
She died of a gunshot wound to the head.
“It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that the Orange City Police Department announce the unexpected passing of one of our police officers early Tuesday evening,” Orange City Deputy Police Chief Wayne Miller said in a press release on Wednesday.
“The men and women of the Orange City Police Department are stunned by the unexpected death of our dear friend and co-worker Sergeant Kelly Brubaker,” Chief Miller wrote. “Kelly was very well liked and respected as a knowledgeable and experienced police officer. She had mentored many younger officers and served as a role model for all.”
Orange City Police Lieutenant Jason Samspell described the fallen sergeant as a “very happy person” who was “always laughing with everyone here at the department,” The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
“There was no indication that she had any type of illness or stress,” Lt. Samspell said. “We are all shocked by her death.”
Sgt. Brubaker joined the OCPD as a patrol officer in July of 2007, according to the press release.
She was promoted to the rank of sergeant in November of 2011.
“She was an asset to the police department and served in her position with honor and distinction,” Chief Miller wrote. “Please keep Kelly Jo, her family and all the members of the Orange City Police and law enforcement community in your prayers as we grieve this most unfortunate loss.”
Prior to her career as a law enforcement officer, Sgt. Brubaker also served several years as a dispatcher with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
In addition to her work with OCPD, Sgt. Brubaker was also an adjunct instructor at Daytona State College, where she helped to train up-and-coming law enforcement personnel, Chief Miller said.
She obtained a Master’s degree in criminal justice in 2016 while serving as a police sergeant, according to her obituary.
“She took so much pride in training the next generation of Law Enforcement Officers,” the tribute read. “She was a very kind and compassionate woman… She touched the lives of every person she met and will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and community.”
Sgt. Brubaker leaves behind her adult daughters, Jamey and Jessica.
She is also survived by her mother, sister, and niece.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family Orange City Police Department Sergeant Kelly Jo Brubaker, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.