LOUISBURG, N.C. (WNCN) – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will hold a celebration of life ceremony next week for a K-9 killed in the line of duty.

K-9 “Major” was shot and killed on Sunday while working with his partner Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Jamie Lariviere. The pair were called out to a suspicious fire on the Antioch Road and West Antioch Drive area southeast of Oxford.

When authorities investigated the fire, they learned William Darius Eichelberger was hiding in a crawl space under a home and was possibly armed, a news release said.

Eichelberger was suspected of stealing a car at gunpoint the day before. He had run off on foot and was not located until the day of the fire, officials said.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Jamie Lariviere and his partner, K-9 Major, who was shot and died. Photo from Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office. William Darius Eichelberger. Photo from Granville County Sheriff’s Office.

When officers approached the area, officials said Eichelberger fired shots from under the house at deputies and deputies returned gunfire.

“During the incident, a Franklin County K-9 dog was struck by gunfire and died,” the news release said.

K-9 Major’s celebration of life will be held April 18 at 11 a.m. at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Louisburg.

Eichelberger, 21, had minor injuries and was taken by EMS for treatment, the news release said.

He was released from medical care a short time later and initially faced seven charges.

More charges were added Monday and Eichelberger is now charged with:

  • Assault on a law enforcement agency K-9 – felony
  • Assault on law enforcement officers with a firearm – felony
  • Breaking and/or entering – felony (2 counts)
  • Breaking and entering a motor vehicle – felony
  • Larceny after breaking and entering – felony
  • Possession of stolen firearm – felony
  • Robbery with a dangerous weapon – felony
  • Possession of stolen goods/property – felony
  • Larceny of motor vehicle – felony

He’s being held under a $1 million bond.

No one else was injured in the shootout. The North Carolina SBI is investigating the incident.