BATAVIA, Ohio — As a student, Bill Brewer worked hard to make his mark on the fields and courts. As an adult, he worked hard to make his mark as a law enforcement officer.
It took a lot of effort for Brewer to get on Clermont County's Special Response Team. On Tuesday, the sheriff's office released its personnel file on Brewer, who was killed during a standoff with an armed man when Brewer went to render aid, believing the man had shot himself. The file shows how Brewer was commended by both his colleagues and members of the public he served.
Brewer started his career in law enforcement as a corrections officer at the county jail in 1998. He worked his way up, telling people his role on the team was to help.
From the jail, Brewer advanced up to patrol roads as a deputy in 2004. He said his job made him more patient, and he wanted to join the Special Response Team because it "is the elite of the elite."
"I want to be that person," he wrote.
In applying for the role, Brewer said the job of SWAT is to help people, "not out there for the purpose of taking a life, but exists to be of assistance."
In a recommendation for his job, a friend and co-worker wrote, "I can honestly say that I would trust Mr. Brewer with my life." Brewer was appointed to the Special Response Team in 2015.
Commendations Brewer received show he did little things that left big impressions, like changing a tire or cleaning egg of someone's car. He helped people, just like he was trying to help Wade Winn on Saturday night.
Winn called 911 multiple times that night. He was armed, and didn't trust the people outside who responded to his call for help.
Prosecutors said Brewer and Lt. Nick DeRose rushed into Winn's apartment to help when they thought Winn had tried to kill himself. Instead, prosecutors said, Winn ambushed them and shot at them. Brewer was hit in the pelvis.
He died trying to help.
"That's just the way Bill was," his former football coach, Wayne Johnson, said.
A visitation for Brewer is scheduled for Thursday and his funeral is set for Friday. Authorities said anyone interested in donating to his family can drop them off at any Park National Bank under "The Bill Brewer Memorial Fund," or mail them to Park National Bank at 1187 Ohio Pike, Amelia, Ohio 45102.