Dozens of Deptford residents gathered on May 7 in front of the municipal building to hold a candlelight vigil for fallen police officer Robert “Bobby” Shishler, who died earlier that day.
Shishler – a township resident and alumnus of Deptford High School – was shot in the leg on March 10 during a struggle with Mitchell Negron Jr. on a roadway in the township. Negron was killed and Shishler sustained a life-threatening injury that eventually took his life.
“Officer Shishler dedicated his life to the service of the residents of Deptford Township,” said Police Chief Joseph Smith. “He helped ensure the safety of our community, where he was born, raised, lived and worked.”
After news of Shishler’s death broke out, several police vehicles, an ambulance and a motorcycle patrol from Camden County rode to Philadelphia, where Shishler died, to bring his body back to Deptford and say their goodbyes to a brother, according to close friends of the officer.
Shishler’s police vehicle, patrol car 535, was decorated with blue lights, black drapes and a black and white American flag with a single blue stripe, a common symbol for the police. Police sirens could be heard on Cooper Street.
Mourners who included strangers placed flowers and candles in front of the vehicle. Many were sporting a shirt sold by the family with Shishler’s name; his badge number, 5273; and on the back, the words, “We’ve got your six,” which also means “We’ve got your back.”
A note written by a child in blue marker later took its place in front of car 535.
“You are our hero,” it read. “Rest in peace.”
“I didn’t know him at all,” said Kathleen Skace. “I’ve been following the story and it’s just a shame that someone so young is gone.”
A number of events have been held since Shishler was shot to raise funds for his family, including one at Nipper’s Pub that had a large turnout.
“We want to thank the Deptford community for the tremendous outpouring of support,” Smith told the mourners. “The last few weeks have been extremely difficult, and your constant acts of kindness have helped in these challenging times.”
Shisler’s funeral Wednesday will begin with a viewing from 9 a.m. to noon at Rowan University’s Pfleeger Concert Hall in Glassboro, followed by a service. Interment will be private.