(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Monday, Aug. 7 marks one year since a hero was killed in the line of duty.

On Monday, the community gathered together to remember one of our own, El Paso County Deputy Andrew Peery who lost his life in an officer-involved shooting in Security-Widefield in 2022.

On Aug. 7, 2022, 39-year-old Deputy Peery responded to a shots fired call near Ponderosa Drive and Grand Boulevard in Security-Widefield.

“Andrew was the 375th member of law enforcement serving the state of Colorado to make the ultimate sacrifice for his community,” said El Paso County Sheriff Joe Roybal.

Peery was shot and died of his injuries at the hospital – the sixth El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy ever killed in the line of duty.

“To Andrew’s family, Meghan, Matthew, Amy, we cannot imagine your loss,” Roybal said. “Your father’s memories are embedded deep in our hearts and he left a permanent mark on his law enforcement family.”

After his death, Peery was awarded two medals of valor for his heroic actions and a medal of honor for his ultimate sacrifice.

“Andrew’s accolades and achievements don’t end there,” Roybal explained. “Andrew did not just succeed in his career, he triumphed.”

Peery had been with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) since 2016 and was a member of their SWAT team, but before that, he was a paratrooper for the U.S. Army serving in Italy, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Those who served beside him said he was an exemplary soldier who always strived to serve his country with honor.

“He was lighthearted,” Roybal said. “He liked to joke, except when he was on the range he took that very seriously, but he knew when to deploy humor and when to have fun. He was a caretaker not only for the community, but for the Sheriff’s Office family as well.”

The deadly officer-involved shooting also claimed the life of Marine veteran Alex Paz. The 26-year-old was killed by her estranged husband in Security-Widefield, who later shot and killed Peery before taking his own life.

Paz was a former Marine and animal lover who planned to take her love of animals and apply it to a career as a veterinary technician.

“We have not forgotten, and it is our honor and was absolutely Deputy Peery’s honor to go to her aid,” Sheriff Roybal explained. “We were extremely sorry for their loss, and we share their pain from the events of that day.”

Andrew Peery Memorial
Courtesy: FOX21 news file photo, 2022

Not only this year, but every year, EPSO ensures the families of the fallen continue to receive support. A patrol vehicle was parked out front of the Sheriff’s Office on Monday, where visitors had the opportunity to write notes or leave flowers in remembrance.