Upton County Deputy Billy "Bubba" Kennedy, a licensed peace officer for 14 years with stops in Pecos County, Brown County and Upton County, was remembered by his friends and family Thursday morning.
Kennedy, 38, was shot and killed during an incident at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Stripes Convenience Store in McCamey, 50 miles south of Odessa on Highway 385.
Kennedy worked for the Brown County Sheriff's Office from March 6, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2009. Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said Kennedy was "a good officer." He said Kennedy was a K-9 officer under his command.
Grubbs was at a firing range training with other officers when he heard of the fatal shooting.
"We are staggered from this," said Grubbs the retired Texas Ranger for the Midland region. "Any time it is a fellow officer it hits too close to home. We are saddened by this."
Jessica Rodriguez, 27, described Kennedy as a family man, saying he enjoyed hunting and roping with his 15-year-old son.
A third-cousin of Kennedy, Rodriguez recalled one time when she was 17 years old and was arrested by Kennedy for a minor in possession. In a rage, Rodriguez said she threatened to have Kennedy removed from the family.
"He said, 'I'm just doing my job,'" Rodriguez said.
Kennedy leaves behind a wife and his 15- and 11-year-old sons. A hard worker, Kennedy will leave a huge hole that can't be filled, Rodriguez said.
"Whether we have differences, when something like this happens, the stupidity goes out the door and we all come together," she said.
The suspect in the shooting was also shot and is undergoing medical treatment in Odessa. However, his identity has not been released by the Upton County Sheriff's Office.
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