'In our hearts': Memorial grows days after killing of Wayne County Sgt. Matthew Fishman

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ByCindy Bae via WTVD logo
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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Two days after he was gunned down while on duty, people continued to visit a memorial dedicated to Sgt. Matthew Fishman.

WAYNE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two days after he was gunned down while on duty, people continued to visit a memorial dedicated to Sgt. Matthew Fishman.

Fishman's car is parked outside Wayne County Sheriff's Office Annex, and it continues to get visitors who often leave flowers and pay their respects.

"Man, this is the last thing this gentleman touched," Dave Chartier said about the car while holding back tears. "This is the last thing he actually looked at when he went to go serve."

Chartier, a retired service member, came to bring flowers on Wednesday.

"I just want them to know they're all in our hearts," Chartier said.

Lisa Doudney, a manager at a Circle K in Goldsboro, said how emotional Tuesday was when Sgt. Fishman died.

"All of them come in my store every day," Doudney said Wednesday. "Yesterday, I had at least 12 come in my store. We got hugs, and love and they were all really sad, it made me sad."

Doudney described Fishman as "a great guy."

"All of the guys here worked so hard to protect us, and they show up at my store when I need them," Doudney said. "It's hard for this community right now."

In Florida, Zechariah Cartledge, 13, pledged to run a mile in honor of Sgt. Fishman. The mile on Wednesday will mark the 1,292nd mile Cartledge ran in honor of fallen law enforcement officers and first responders.

"Unfortunately I've done this 1,300 times," Cartledge said. "It's unfortunate that we have to run for another one with gunfire."

The Running 4 Heroes Inc. founder will run with a flag that has a blue line, which he said represents law enforcement.

"After the run, I send that flag to the family. We'll ship it out," Cartledge said. "We are going to continue to pray for anybody going through a hard loss and we also hope that the run can show how much appreciation the U.S. has for them."

An Wednesday morning, Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce gave an update on the shooting that killed Fishman and injured two of his fellow officers Monday.

Pierce said Fishman, Corporal Andrew Cox and Deputy Alexander Ramon Torres responded to a home on Arrington Bridge Road around 10:30 a.m. to serve involuntary commitment papers to 23-year-old Jourdan Hamilton. The sheriff said shots were fired without warning at the deputies after they identified themselves. All three men were hit and an officer down call went out to surrounding agencies.

A standoff ensued that ended at 8:00 p.m, when SWAT teams entered the home and determined Hamilton fatally shot himself.

Fishman died a day after the shooting. Fishman had been with the sheriff's office since December 2010. Before that, he worked for the Mount Olive Police Department. He is survived by his wife and two children.

"It is a sad week for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office as we have lost one of our own. Sgt. Matthew Fishman passed away yesterday and leaves a hole in this organization," Pierce said.

ABC11 spoke with the father of Sgt. Fishman who called the 24 hours after his death "the worse he has ever experienced."

Sheriff Pierce thanked all the first responders who assisted in the incident and gave deeper insight into just how much Sgt. Fishman meant to his office and his community.

"I know he was a very avid church member and in fact, when he would send emails he would always put a Bible verse at the bottom of his email and he was always an uplifting-type person," the sheriff said.

Sheriff Pierce said Corporal Andrew Cox is being treated and is expected to be released from the hospital today. Deputy Alexander Ramon Torres was treated in the hospital and was released Tuesday.

"This is the danger that our men and women face in law enforcement each and every day," Pierce said.

During questions, Sheriff Pierce said there was no indication that Hamilton would be hostile when the deputies went to serve him the papers.

Hamilton was charged with several misdemeanors in the past, including communicating threats, resisting an officer, assaulting a government official and possession of marijuana.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting.