POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 21-year-old father was killed on the front lines Tuesday morning.

“When people look at this young man he is the epitome of what American law enforcement is about,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Deputy Blane Lane had aspirations of filling Sheriff Grady Judd’s shoes one day.

“You see a young man, but I see a colleague that’s younger than my children – this is like losing one of your kids,” Sheriff Judd said.

It’s unimaginable grief for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Judd said Deputy Lane was a graduate of Mulberry High School.

Lane entered the police academy two years ago. He was then sworn in as a detention deputy in May 2021. Eight and a half months ago, Lane was transferred into patrol as a deputy.

“This young man was game on every day, every minute of every day,” Judd said. “He was living out his dream and certainly he was an immensely talented deputy.”

According to Judd, Deputy Lane was killed in a shootout after being accidentally struck by a round from another deputy. Judd said Lane did exactly what he was taught to do.

“He was one of the most enthusiastic young men that I’ve ever met,” said Justin Stewart, Senior Pastor Of Together Church In Lakeland. “He had just a lively spirit about him. He was made for this job. So, we really just can’t say enough about him.”

The Lane Family’s Pastor Stewart said deputy lane was made for this job.

“He was the epitome of just a perfect law enforcement agent,” said Stewart. “He will be missed for sure.”

Authorities are still piecing this all together.

Deputy Lane’s funeral is scheduled for next week.