CLINTON, Mo. -- A Henry County deputy is using his skills to honor Officer Gary Michael in a way that's making waves online.
Deputy Chase Curl met Officer Gary Michael last January at the Central Missouri Police Academy. Curl said, "He was telling me a lot about his time in the army and how he dreamed about being a Clinton officer, specifically."
Curl said when Michael was hired on in Clinton, he used a prank to break the news. "I saw one of the Clinton cars light me up and I was like okay, 'What’s going on?' So I turn around and there he is. Gary’s sitting in the front seat, I’m like, 'Oh man, you finally did it man!' I was really happy for him and he was ecstatic about it."
A fast friendship formed and Curl said he can truly feel Michael's absence. He said, "it’s been hard to process; you just kind of try to block it out. But you scroll on Facebook, you see all the pictures, and you break down."
Curl's other passion is music, so he took his grief out on the strings. Curl picked up his guitar and said "two hours later, the song was born." He shared it online as a tribute to his friend. The song, called "Officer Down," is a melody and lyrics that have hit home with more than 8,000 shares. He said, "I remember within a minute of posting it, it had more than 100 shares."
He believes his friend would appreciate the gesture. "I think he’s looking down right now saying thank you for speaking for me I guess. I think that taking this situation, a sad, horrible tragic event and turning it into something that everyone can share was the best option for me."