In front of the building where he lost his life, last Tuesday Ricky Rose’s family and friends gathered to remember him.
The scorching heat was cooled with cloud cover as the ceremony dedicating a marker to the fallen deputy began.
It was a day more than three decades in the making.
“We really wanted to wait until the drama died down a little bit,” said Fraternal Order of Police President Scott DeLashmit, who has worked to secure the roadside memorial for Rose and deputy Mike Erwin who died in 1975.
Rose, 22, was killed by his partner, Jimmy Hicks, while on duty in November 1988.
Initially it was called a “terribly bizarre accident” by then-district attorney Paul Summers who said preliminary reports indicated the wound to the right side of Rose’s forehead had been self-inflicted while he was cleaning Hicks’ gun.
Hicks and the sheriff were both under federal investigation at the time and both later served prison sentences, Hicks for criminally negligent homicide and the sheriff for extortion and mail fraud.
It is believed Rose was working with federal investigators who were looking into illegal activities being conducted within the department.
More than 30 years later, a one-mile stretch of highway in front of the former justice complex – at Hwy. 51 and Valley – has been renamed and will serve as a permanent memorial.
It’s something Rose’s brother, Mike, is honored to see happen.
“Words can’t do justice, they really can’t,” said Rose’s brother, Mike. “This is so meaningful to me and I’m so thankful.”
Delashmit said Rose’s family wanted a memorial for a long time.
“We feel like enough time has passed that any of the bad feelings that was going on … there’s been enough time for healing and it’s time to move forward.”
“We’re thankful that we get to remember and honor Ricky and the service that he gave to the citizens of Tipton County and to the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office,” said TCSO Deputy Chief Shannon Beasley. “To the family, you’ll always be in our heart, no matter whether you worked here at the time or if you came after. Ricky will always be a part of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.”
When Rose died he was not aware his wife was pregnant. He never had the chance to meet his daughter Melinda, who now has three daughters of her own, but she attends every memorial for him.
Mike, who was in law enforcement at the time, went into narcotics in his brother’s memory. He and his wife, Susan, and their daughter, Amanda McAlpin were among the special guests at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“So to be here at Hwy. 51 having this stretch of highway dedicated in the memory of Ricky Rose means more to you, the family, than it does to us but understand we are your family and we always will be. It means a lot to us.”
TCSO also honors Rose with the Ricky Rose Memorial Shoot each year.