by: Jenna Deery Updated:
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Friends and family gathered at Mac Grey Auditorium at Statesville High School to remember a Rowan County volunteer firefighter who died after being shot in a home invasion Dec. 2.
Visitation services were held Sunday afternoon for 25-year-old Marcus Kauffman. Details of the visitation were posted for more than 55,000 followers of the "Praying for Marco" Facebook page.
On Dec. 2, deputies said Kauffman and his pregnant wife were returning home from a Thanksgiving trip when Kauffman saw a suspicious car in his driveway.
He took his wife to a friend's house and returned home to see what was happening.
Investigators said Khari McClelland and Jaylend Turner had broken into the home. According to authorities, McClelland shot Kauffman in the back of the head when Kauffman arrived.
He survived the shooting and was placed on life support while doctors treated him at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
On Friday his family decided to take him off life support when doctors determined he didn't have any brain activity.
Kauffman left behind his wife and first child, expected to be born in February.
His home church, Cleveland Believers Fellowship in Woodleaf, carried on with services Sunday morning.
"It's been pretty rough," said Trey Hoshall, Scotch Irish Fire Department fire chief.
Hoshall worked with Kauffman. A flag was placed at half-staff and mourning bands were wrapped around badges in honor of Kauffman.
"He was a hard worker, dedicated. Every department needs Marcus' in their department," said Hoshall.
The Fire Department is holding a chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 to raise money for Kauffman's family.
People are asked to preorder a plate that includes barbecue chicken, sides and a dessert. Plates are $8. People can preorder by calling the fire department at 704-431-2559.
Kauffman's church has also opened a fund to help support Kauffman's wife and baby.
The church said people can mail checks with "Benevolence" in the memo to:
Cleveland Believers Fellowship
3700 South River Church Road
Woodleaf, NC 27054