By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Friends of fallen deputy Adam Gibson are remembering him as funny, someone who brought a sense of calm in the middle of chaos, and most importantly, a family man.

Photo of Deputy Adam Gibson provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Ussery is still processing after learning his brother-in-arms and groomsman at his wedding, 31-year-old Sacramento County Deputy Adam Gibson, was shot and killed Monday night at Cal Expo in the line of duty.

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“He was as much my brother as my blood brother,”  Ussery explained.

The deputy was a former Marine, a husband, father and brother to all.

“I didn’t believe it, I didn’t think it was real, it took all day for it to sink in,” he said.

The two fought on the frontlines together during two tours in Afghanistan.

“It’s really hard to believe that we served two tours in Afghanistan and he gets shot at home,” Ussery said.

In 2012 while in the Marine Corp, Gibson was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with an Act of Valor after he helped save the lives of two teams taking on enemy fire.

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“He had your back, front and both sides. He was willing to lay down his life for me and I knew that wholeheartedly,” he said.

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That didn’t change when he returned back home. The 6-year-veteran deputy was awarded a bronze star for bravery in 2018 after he climbed on top of a tour bus to save a suicidal man dangling off a bridge above Highway 99.

Deputy Gibson in 2018, helping save a person in distress on Highway 99. (credit: Elk Grove Police Department)

The hero’s death is leaving an enormous void behind. Ussery says it’s Gibson’s humor, leadership, and love for his family taken away from his wife and 9-month-old daughter that hurts him the most.

“That was one of the first things that came to mind was his daughter and how she is going to have to grow up without her father there. I think that’s the hardest part of all of this,” he said.

Gibson’s family says they are still trying to process everything.

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A K9 officer, Riley, was also killed at Cal Expo Monday night. Officials say the suspect, Robert Calderon, shot the dog then started firing at officers. A second officer was hit by the gunfire. Officials say the deputy, a 13-year veteran of the force, is hospitalized in serious, but stable condition.

Velena Jones