GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Wayne County community members ran a mile Wednesday night in honor of Sgt. Matthew Fishman who died in the line of duty after being shot on Monday.
Community members ran four laps around the parking lot of Wayne Community College as part of a national movement called Running 4 Heroes. All three first responders who were shot Monday are alum of the college.
Dozens of people could be seen taking off to honor Fishman, 38, who had been with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office since 2010.
JoAnn and Sherwood Daly’s children grew up with Fishman.
“He was a good Chirstian guy, he would have your back no matter what, anything he could do to help you he would,” said Joann Daly.
Daly used to be Fishman’s lieutenant. He said Fishman was outstanding to work with, and more than that was like a son to him.
“Matt asked to be transferred to my shift, came to my shift, and I couldn’t have been more happier I was ecstatic,” Sherwood Daly said. “You just couldn’t ignore that smile he had, he just had a beautiful smile.”
The couple said Fishman wanted to join law enforcement ever since he was a young boy.
“He used to have a fake pair of handcuffs that he arrested my daughter with,” Joann Daly said.
While laughing she said she had to call the sheriff’s office to get her daughter out.
Fishman was one of three first responders involved in a more than eight-hour standoff at a mobile home with a suspect with a past criminal history who inevitably turned a gun on himself and was discovered by a SWAT team.
Cpl. Andrew Cox, 37, and deputy Alexander Ramon Torres, 27, were the other two first responders shot Monday. Both were in stable condition Monday, while Fishman was listed as critical. As of Wednesday, both have been released from the hospital.
Tributes could be seen across Wayne County, like at Selah Christian Church where Sgt. Marion Walton and his colleague who was close friends with Fishman put up a blue light to illuminate the church in honor of the three deputies.
Walton said he and Fishman were friends outside of work, too.
“He was a cut up, he was always smiling, he was always – always had a good word to say to you – and just, you know, if you were down he’d pick you up,” Walton said.
Zechariah Cartledge, 13, founded Running 4 Heroes, and he runs a mile for every first responded killed in the line of duty.