HIGH POINT, North Carolina (WXII) — The family of a man shot and killed, by a Davidson County deputy, during a funeral service, wants more answers — almost two months after his death. They also want to see the deputy charged.
The funeral was held Nov. 8 at the Living Water Baptist Church on Brentwood Street in High Point.
The deputy was investigating the murder of Jonas Thompson’s and attended the funeral at the request of Thompson’s family. The deputy was in the parking lot of the church when gunfire erupted.
Police say when the shots were fired, individuals standing outside of the church ran for safety. Officers say they were informed by witnesses that multiple shots were fired by unknown people from at least two cars: a newer model dark-gray, four-door Dodge Charger and a white four-door sedan.
According to police, the “unknown people” are suspected to be from a rival gang.
“The deputy discharged his weapon after coming into contact with Frederick Cox Jr., who was also attending the funeral. The deputy reported he observed Cox with a handgun at the time he discharged his service weapon and other witnesses observed a handgun near Cox after he was shot,” the State Bureau of Investigations said in November.
The deputy was placed on administrative leave with pay.
Cox’s family says that is not enough because it wasn’t just one bullet that hit Cox. An autopsy report has not been released.
“The truth is it was multiple shots and they were all from the back and no one has taken accountability in the situation,” said Temeka Thatch, Cox’s adoptive mother. “We want charges filed.”
It’s that very reason why the family wants the deputy to be charged. They say they’re calling on the District Attorney’s office to agree that Cox’s death is a clear case of pure negligence.
“It may be a different conversation if it was one bullet, but when you speak of multiple shots, I think that is definitely negligence,” said Thatch.
Cox’s biological mother says she must protect her son’s name and legacy because protecting was a quality that Cox kept close.
“I would thank him for doing what I know he’s always done, and that’s protect,” said Tenicka Shannon. “Every day I tell him, ‘Job well done.'”
A job well done is what 12-year-old Tavaris would say, too. He calls Cox his hero after he helped Tavaris escape the path of bullets that had no direction that day.
Tavaris visited Cox’s gravesite and said another goodbye on Christmas Day. He also met Shannon, who he now calls his godmother, for the very first time.
Tavaris gifted Shannon with a customized plaque that says “Fred, My Hero.”
It’s those same three words that he used in a letter he wrote to Shannon not too long after the shooting.
“He left us doing what Christ did for us, which was lay down his life. He gave up his life so that young man could be here to tell his story and just be a living testimony,” said Thatch.
The family has created a petition to show the support behind their plea in having the deputy charged.
WXII 12 News did reach out to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office for comment, but has not heard back.
In the days after the shooting, police said roughly 70 rounds were fired during the incident. Shell casings were recovered from four different caliber weapons. Due to the amount of gunfire, the incident is being treated as three different scenes. At least one person in the crowd did fire back at the suspect vehicles, police say.
“At this time, the SBI is still conducting their investigation. Once their investigation is complete, their findings will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office. No decision can or will be made until the investigation is complete,” a spokesperson from the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the SBI said the investigation is ongoing.
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