CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - A candlelight vigil was held in Concord to honor Concord Police Officer Jason Shuping, who was killed in the line of duty Wednesday night.
Shuping’s vigil was held Friday night with a candle lighting and “Chalk the Walk in Memory.”
The community met at 6 p.m. in front of Concord Police Headquarters on Cabarrus Street near Spring Street., where a memorial is growing for Shuping.
A lighting of candles in Shuping’s honor began at 6:15 p.m. Chalk was available following the candle lighting so people could leave condolences.
The memorial outside the Concord police department continues to grow as community members stop by to pay their respects. Several of the families stopping by have a personal connection to law enforcement.
“These men and women go out every night to protect us. We’re just here to honor not only this officer, but their families,” said Greg. His son is an officer in California.
Another woman stopped by Friday afternoon as well. Her husband is a Rowan County Deputy.
“It’s something my daughter and I have worried about for years,” said Lisa Shoemaker, talking about the dangers of working in law enforcement. “We try to just trust in God and have faith he’s going to bring him home safely.”
Shuping was killed in a shooting on Gateway Lane near Bruton Smith Boulevard just before 11 p.m. Wednesday. A call about a crash came in around 10:18 p.m., where a woman said her car had been stolen near the Gateway Lane area. Shuping and another officer responded and approached a man matching the suspect description. Police say that’s when the suspect pulled out a gun and began shooting towards officers.
Shuping and another officer, identified as 23-year-old Kaleb Robinson, were hurt. Robinson is expected to be OK. Shots were then exchanged with the suspect, identified by the NCSBI as 29-year-old Jeremy Maurice Daniels, and two other officers. Police say Daniels was killed. The other two officers were not hurt.
Shuping had 1.5 years of service.
“Today we are mourning the loss of a beloved family member who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty late Wednesday night. Officer Jason Shuping served the citizens of Concord and the Concord Police Department since 2019. He will truly be missed by all,” the department wrote. “We also extend our prayers of healing to Officer Kaleb Robinson, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the same incident.”
A law enforcement escort took Shuping from the Charlotte Medical Examiner’s Office to Powles-Staton Funeral Home in Rockwell, N.C. Thursday afternoon.
People lined the streets with American flags to honor Officer Shuping and show their support for the law enforcement family.
And it was family that brought Officer Shuping back home to Concord. Police cruisers lined up in formation as far back as the eye could see. Waiting for the caravan, dozens of people pulled off to the side of the road to pay their respects.
Every overpass manned by first responders, many clutching American flags. One of those out here to see the procession was Christopher Schenk. He used to teach at the academy where the two officers cut their teeth.
Officer Shuping was more than an officer. He was a husband, a son, a huge part of his family, and loved by many. He is being described as a gentle soul, who made an impact.
Shuping graduated from East Rowan High School where he played football and ran track. He was in youth groups and went on mission trips. Shuping was an honors student at UNC Pembroke and he was also a track and field athlete.
Condolences poured in from the community, as his closest friends, family, fellow officers and strangers are honoring his memory.
Police say the SBI is handling the criminal investigation.
Gov. Roy Cooper said Shuping’s death, along with the death of Officer Tyler Herndon just last week, “reminds us that law enforcement officers have extremely difficult, sometimes dangerous jobs, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their courage and service.”
Memorials can be placed at CPD Headquarters at the corner of Cabarrus and Spring Street.
Anyone who wants to make a donation in either Officer Shuping or Officer Robinson’s name can do so as well.
The public came out Thursday night not only to acknowledge the loss to the family, but the pain the entire community is feeling right now.
The memorial at the police station where Shuping worked went from just a few flowers to hundreds. A community hurting right now. This is the third officer this week who has tragically died.
Flags across the state have also been lowered in honor of the fallen.