BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — A community is mourning the loss of a police officer and two people are taking it especially hard.
For two Brentwood police officers, they didn’t lose a fellow officer, they lost a best friend and brother.
Officer Destin Legieza was killed in a crash Thursday morning at the end of his midnight shift.
“This is at the end of the shift, a routine thing, he’s going back to park his vehicle before he goes home and I literally has just saw him pass me,” Brent Rowsey told News 2, “And then two minutes later, he’s gone.”
Rowsey was the third officer on the scene of the crash when Legieza was hit by another driver who crossed the median line on Franklin Rd.
“I was with him ’til the end,” Rowsey said.
Rowsey, Tim Finney, and Destin Legieza all work the night shift or third shift as the department calls it, Legieza named the trio “tripod.”
“You know if one doesn’t go, it falls, and that’s how it was, us three we were together all the time,” Rowsey explained adding that their wives also hang out together.
The men say Legieza was a contagious person— his smile, his charisma, and his work ethic.
“Didn’t matter who you were, what you looked like where you came from… he’d treat you the same way,” Rowsey said.
“He’s the type of person that would make you want to be a police officer, and to be that kind of police officer,” Finney added.
Legieza also volunteered a lot in the community for things like the Polar Plunge, Special Olympics, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
“Anything that he could give back to people, that’s what he wanted to do,” Rowsey explained.
Having grown up in Franklin and graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, Legieza was also one of the Titan’s biggest football fans.
“Destin was a season ticket member, he went to New England this year for the playoff game and he also went to Kansas City for the playoff game,” Rowsey said, he even drove a Titan truck and named his dog Titan.
“Him and his wife Heather, they lived life to the fullest. They were always doing something, always inviting us to do something,” Finney said.
Driving their Legieza from the medical examiner’s office in Nashville to his final resting place at the Williamson Memorial Funeral Home Thursday evening, they passed the Titan’s Nissan stadium so he could see it one last time, and the crowds that gathered along the entire route said it all.
“Destin cared a lot about people, and I hope he sees now how much people care about him,” Rowsey said.
“I think it’s easy for people to forget sometimes how much officers can care for the community and he embodied that more than anyone I knew,” Finney said, “That’s why he did this job, that’s what motivates me.”
Rowsey added, “Wheeling him into the funeral home, it sprinkled… for 5, 10 seconds… and then it started shining again i was like he’s letting us know,” he said, “That guy will leave an impact that he has no idea.”
For anyone who would like to make a monetary donation to Officer Legieza’s family, there is a memorial fund set up in his name at any branch of First Horizon Bank.