Best friend of Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy killed by gunman speaks out

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The Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy was gunned down Sunday while rushing to help two officers shot by an active shooter. (KFSN)

We've learned from the best friend of the Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy killed by a gunman that he was supposed to be vacationing this week at the beach with his family. Now they're getting ready for his funeral.

"Code 3, code 3, we've got an officer down, two down, back here two down." Those were the last few words from Brad Garafola.

The Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy was gunned down Sunday while rushing to help two officers shot by an active shooter.

His best friend, Anthony Aginiga, of 10 years-- a firefighter in Baton Rouge-- got the news of the incident on his phone.

"I love him as a brother."

Worried about his friend, Aginiga immediately sent a text to Garafola asking if he was at the location of the shooting.

"I texted him asking I hope you're not a B Quick are you hoping that I'll get a response."

But he never did.

Aginiga later learned from Garafola's wife Tonja the 24 year veteran of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office was killed.

"I just started crying. I didn't know what to think and I just sat in the car crying because that was my best friend and, like I tell everyone, that was my brother."

Aginga said Garafola was a loving husband and father to four beautiful kids.

The two often had combined family dinners. He describes their last and most recent one together.

"He didn't have work the next day so I was like, 'well we're going to have a couple drinks,' and I finally got him a little tipsy. We had a lot of laughs and stayed up late, but that was last week that we had dinner. I didn't realize that was going to be the last time."

And now instead of planning their next meal, Aginiga is preparing to say goodbye.

"He lived to help people, because that was Brad. He was always trying to help everyone, and he's my hero for trying to save that officers life."

Aginiga tells Action News deputy Garafola's seven-year-old daughter is just like him, always putting others first.

He said after she learned that her father died, she asked if someone could take her to the hospital to give get well cards to the other officers injured in that shooting.

Now deputy Garafola's funeral is scheduled for this Saturday.
Related Topics:
newsofficer killedofficer involved shootingbaton rouge police shooting
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