MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A candlelight vigil was held in Montgomery Friday night to honor the life of fallen Montgomery Police Department Detective Tanisha Pughsley.
The 27-year-old officer was fatally shot inside her home Monday morning in an apparent domestic violence related incident. Her ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Brandon Deshawn Webster, has been charged in the investigation.
Friends, family, and well over 100 MPD officers gathered to celebrate Pughsley’s life. The Montgomery Police Department remembering an officer whose life was cut too short, but whose legacy will live on.
“I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life,” said Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley. “I know that we all out here is going to remember something about Tanisha for the rest of our life and that’s what it’s all about.”
Detective Pughsley was a volunteer and officer at Transformation Montgomery, a faith-based community development organization in the city. Transformation Montgomery helped organize the vigil and hosted the ceremony. They said “Officer P” left a lasting impact on the people they serve, and will be truly missed.
“Her time spent in Montgomery was short, but the impact that she made will be long lasting with lots of people,” said Transformation Montgomery Children’s Minister Debbie Peavy.
Peavy said Transformation Montgomery was Pughsley’s “home away from home.” The organization was a portion of her assigned precinct when she first became an officer.
“She was more than just an officer. Off duty and on duty she had just a servitude heart,” said Transformation Montgomery Adult Minister Dolores Burrell. “When she came, she was more than just an officer here, she was a mentor for the children.”
Peavy describes Pughsley as being “tough, but full of class.” They said her beauty shined from the inside, out.
Pughsley’s family attended the ceremony and thanked the community for coming out to support Pughsley, who had been on the force since 2016.
“My sister was a very special person,” said Pughsley’s brother. “I can see that by the crowd that we have, and I just want to say thank you guys from the bottom of my heart and I love you.”
“I’m going to miss her, I’m going to miss her dearly,” said Pughsley’s Father. “I want to say thank you guys for the love that you showed my family and myself and I just can’t say nothing else but thank you.”
Pughsley was originally from Chicago and came to Alabama for school. She got her degree in criminal justice from Alabama State University, and according to Peavy she, “saw a need in this community and she stayed.”
“She was from Chicago and came from the South and made such an impact on people in such a short period of time,” Burrell said. “And that is just so amazing to me, she was not a stranger to this neighborhood.”
Vigil attendees released hundreds of purple and white balloons into the sky. The colors purple and white are symbolic of domestic violence.
A memorial service will be held for Pughsley Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ross-Clayton Funeral Home in Montgomery.
The police department has also shared that a funeral service will be held July 18 at Miracle Revival Center in Maywood, Illinois.