Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

ABITA SPRINGS, La. -- A song of remembrance filled the air before hundreds of balloons filled the sky.

More than 100 friends and family gathered to remember Jason Glover outside his parent's Abita Springs home Saturday. The Iraq war veteran was 32 when he was killed in March.

'He was an American hero. That's how I want them to remember him,' said Glover's mother, Beth.

Glover earned a Purple Heart in 2003, after nearly dying in an IED explosion. He wasn't killed until after his time in the service.

A decade after Glover returned from Iraq, he was shot in front of his Abita Springs home by a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office deputy. The sheriff's office says Glover pointed a gun at the deputy, forcing the deputy to shoot.

But Glover's parents believe their son would have never pointed a gun at a law enforcement officer.

'My son respected the law. He respected the law,' said Beth Glover. 'I want the truth. And I won't quit searching till I get the truth.'

'I think there's a lot of questions surrounding it,' said Brandon Wagner, Glover's best friend. 'I think there's a lot that makes him out to be somebody that he is not. It is not his character and that man had character.'

Glover's family said they are currently working to gather evidence about what happened, but couldn't yet talk about any findings because of a lawsuit they filed against the sheriff's office.

The deputy initially responded to a call from Glover's girlfriend, who said Glover was armed and threatening to kill her.

Sheriff Jack Strain has said Glover struggled to adjust and recover from his time in Iraq, and was ultimately unable to find the help he needed.

Glover's family says that he never sought help.

'My son was a lot like my father who was a World War II veteran, he never talked about it. And if there were issues, I didn't see them. He was a very private person. He didn't talk about the war at all,' said Beth Glover.

Some have said veterans sometimes don't seek help adjusting to civilian life because of the stigma attached to doing so. They believe Glover's death reveals the need to better connect veterans with services they need after returning from war.

'I really feared something like this would happen. It has happened. Let's stand up and prevent any other from happening like this,' said Shawn Cronan shortly after the March shooting. Cronan is Desert Storm veteran and founder of the veterans advocacy group, NOLA Patriots.

Ultimately, Glover's friends and family gathered Saturday to celebrate his life. And they will always remember him as a loyal friend, a loving son, and an American hero.

'We all love you. And you know that, we miss you baby,' said Beth Glover.

A spokesman for the sheriff's office said the shooting remains under investigation.

There is no video evidence because the deputy's vehicle was not equipped with a camera, said Capt. George Bonnett. Bonnett said most of the cars do not have cameras.

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