DUDLEY, NC (WNCN) – First responders and the community lined highway 117 Friday afternoon to honor the life of fallen Sgt. Matthew Fishman.

Sgt. Fishman and two other deputies with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office were shot earlier this week while on duty.

The procession started in Greenville and ended in Wayne County as hundreds of people parked their cars along the roadways to show their respect. Sgt. Fishman passed away Tuesday — after being shot Monday morning — trying to serve involuntary commitment paperwork to a home in Dudley.

Those who knew him and his wife are still in disbelief.

“I actually grew up with his wife Sara, her and I met in the 6th grade,” Stephanie Moody said who was at the procession. “It’s hard as a human to understand the ‘why’. And I think that has been the most devastating part is, unfortunately, why did this happen to such a wonderful person?”

Additionally, Kelly Holland was among the hundreds to come out and said her husband works in law enforcement and knew Sgt. Fishman and the other two deputies injured.

“It’s been a tough week. As you can imagine all law enforcement has felt the pain of this and the department has been shaken. But we know they have to press forward and continue to protect and serve our community,” Holland said.

David Rutledge is a family friend who grew up with Fishman, who could only say it is just a sad situation.

“I don’t think words can explain it,” Rutledge said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen and nobody knows how to react to what happens when it does.”



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Moody shared that the community coming together like this shows the type of man Fishman was.

“I think for the community to be able to do this, to show Sara, and the children, and his mom and dad, and his family and brothers, what he meant to the community is just the least amount we could do for them,” Moody said.

Sgt. Fishman leaves behind a wife and two children. His funeral services will be held this Tuesday at the University of Mount Olive at 11 a.m.