First Responder of The Week: Ofc. Brandon Stalker

Toledo Police Officer Mitch Vanderhorst pays tribute to his fallen partner
Published: Jan. 31, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Jan. 18, 2021. Officer Brandon M. Stalker made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his community. He was shot and killed in the line of duty.

His partner, Officer Mitch Vanderhorst, is honoring the service, sacrifice, and legacy of his partner by sharing memories of their time together.

Here is a transcript of his interview with 13abc during our segment, First Responder of The Week:

“Brandon was one of those rare people that is just one of the most genuine people you ever meet.

I mean, one of those guys you wanted to be around and he wanted to be around everybody else.

Nobody was going to be in a bad mood around Brandon, and he was going to make sure of it.

He’d be the one to come in, instantly crack a joke, and he’d have that huge smile, and it was going to be an all-around good experience the rest of the time you’re around him.

I mean, he’d have your back through anything. He had my back through anything.

He was just one of those guys who just, he loved his friends and family and he was going to make sure that everybody knew it, and he was going to do anything he could for anybody else, and that was just him being him. That wasn’t him trying to be better at the job. That wasn’t him trying to be this super outgoing person. That’s just the way Brandon was.

I mean, he was my brother. I mean, blood couldn't have made us closer.

He was one of those guys that I'd talk to on a daily basis if I had something that was bothering me or if I had something that I got super excited about, I'd call Brandon or I texted Brandon.

You know, I’d see something funny on my phone, first thing is, ‘Man, I gotta send this to Brandon.’

Like I said, he became an absolute brother. His family became family.

You know, we all hung out. I'm not even going to go to the point and say friend. He was one of the best friends that anybody could have, but at that point, you're family after that.

Like I said, blood couldn't have made us closer at that point.

With all the support and everything that’s come from this, he’d be more than proud.

Like I said, this job meant everything to him. He loved doing it. He loved what he did. I mean, it was everything to him. So, I think with him being First Responder of the Week, it would an absolute honor seeing the support that’s been shown not only to him, but his family. He would be over the moon, just ecstatic.

He lived for this. This is what he loved to do, so it would mean the absolute world to him.”

Officer Mitch Vanderhorst, Toledo Police

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