A true friend. A big brother. A man who always tried to better himself.
That's how those who worked with Officer Billy Clardy III describe the man lost in the line of duty on Friday.
Clardy was a member of the Huntsville strategic drug force team, referred to as "STAC." He was conducting an undercover investigation when he was shot and killed.
The entire community continues to mourn the loss of a man who is being called hero, leaving flowers and candles outside the police department.
For STAC agent Thomas Morris, he says he lost a true friend.
"My grandmother always told me you won't have but one or two, maybe three, true friends in your whole life," Agent Thomas Morris, said. "I'm kind of old now and Billy, I can say, is truly a friend."
It's a friendship, Morris says, will never be broken. He's a member of the Huntsville Police Department's STAC team, a group made up of multiple agencies, with undercover drug agents trying to keep dangerous substances out of the community.
Officer Billy Clardy III was doing just that when he was killed on Friday. As part of the team, Morris remembers Clardy as always being organized.
"When he came in contact with somebody he kept a good, clean record on each and every person, including a photo," Morris said.
He says that's one of the many things that made him so good at his job. While Clardy is praised for his work within the STAC team, others looked to him as a leader. Steven Graham says he met Clardy after just getting out of the police academy.
"He took us under his wing like a big brother and made sure that all of us always did things the right way," Graham said.
Morris says he was always hungry to keep learning. Never satisfied and never settling.
"And when he became a STAC agent, he was just like he was when he became a community resource officer, he was working his butt off because he wanted to be the best," Morris said.
Clardy will be laid to rest on Tuesday. WAAY31 will bring you coverage on air and online of tomorrow's services starting at 2 pm.