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Hero Down: Wayne County Sheriff’s Sgt. Matthew Fishman Murdered By Gunman

Greenville, NC – Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Sergeant Matthew Fishman died in the line of duty on Tuesday day after being shot while attempting to serve involuntary commitment papers on Monday morning.

Wayne County officials announced the 38-year-old sergeant’s death in a press release on Aug. 2.

“It is with profound sadness that we report that Sgt. Matthew Fishman has passed away from injuries sustained in the line of duty yesterday,” the county said.

“Sheriff [Larry] Pierce thanks each officer and first responder for their support and asks for prayers for the families involved during this difficult time,” the county’s statement read. “He also would like to thank the in-county and out-of-county support received through the day yesterday.”

The incident occurred at a residence located in the 2500-block of Arrington Bridge Road at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 1, WRAL reported.

Sgt. Fishman, 37-year-old WCSO Corporal Andrew Cox, and 27-year-old WCSO Deputy Alexander Ramon Torres all responded to the home to serve involuntary commitment paperwork on 23-year-old Jourdan Hamilton, the county said in a press release on Monday.

All three deputies were wearing ballistic vests, as is common practice in such cases, WCSO Public Information Officer Joel Gillie told WITN.

The deputies came under fire shortly after they arrived at the house, according to police.

The wounded heroes were rushed to ECU Medical Center, where Sgt. Fishman remained in critical condition until his passing, the county said.

Cpl. Cox and Deputy Torres were both listed in stable condition on Monday night.

Deputy Torres was released from the hospital on Tuesday to continue his recovery at home, WITN reported.

Hamilton barricaded himself inside the house for hours after the shooting, according to Wayne County officials.

A SWAT team entered the residence shortly before 8 p.m. and found him dead from “an apparent fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the county said.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident, WITN reported.

Sgt. Fishman served with the Mount Olive Police Department prior to joining the WCSO in December of 2010, WTVD reported.

He leaves behind his wife and two children, one of his friends told the news outlet.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has ordered that all flags be lowered to half-staff in Sgt. Fishman’s honor.

“Today we adjourned the Council of State meeting in honor of Wayne Co. Sheriff Sgt. Matthew Fishman who was tragically shot and killed yesterday in the line of duty,” Cooper tweeted on Tuesday morning.

“Last night and this morning I talked with Sheriff Pierce and I extend my deepest sympathy and gratitude to the Fishman family for Matthew’s life, courage and service to the people of his county and state,” the governor added.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Matthew Fishman, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Sergeant Matthew Fishman, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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