BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – A little boy spoke to CBS4 about a special connection he had with Deputy Jacob Pickett and his K9 partner, Brik.
“He would find drugs and fight with people to protect Jacob,” said 9-year-old Braedyn Matthews.
The past couple summers, Braedyn Matthews went to Camp 911, where kids get to spend time with Boone County deputies, firefighters and EMS workers. Braedyn liked the entire camp, but his favorite part was getting to know Deputy Pickett and Brik.
“If we had a question, he would stop and answer the question that he had,” said Braedyn.
Minutes before Deputy Pickett was shot and killed in the line of deputy, he was once again with kids, teaching elementary student about his job and introducing them to Brik.
“Deputy Pickett was really nice with the kids,” said Braedyn.
Braedyn’s dad isn’t sure Deputy Pickett even realized how big of a difference he made in his son’s life.
“Brik and Deputy Pickett made a very big impact on him. If he touched other kids’ lives the way he has his, the guy definitely did his job right. He was a good officer,” said Darren Matthews, Braedyn’s dad.
This fourth grader made sure to leave something of his own on a growing memorial to a man who gave so much.
“We hope his family is okay,” said Braedyn.
On Friday night at a community vigil, Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen saw Braedyn and knew he’d be hurting too so he gave him a special coin to hold when he was sad.
“He said he doesn’t want me to lose it and he wants me to keep it with me wherever I go. I told him I wouldn’t lose it,” said Braedyn.
The fourth grader keeps the coin in his pocket and he keeps the memories in a place even closer.
“I keep him in my heart all the time,” said Braedyn.
Braedyn is planning to go to Camp 911 again this summer but of course, he says it’s going to be a lot different without Deputy Pickett there.