Mourners share faith after volunteer firefighter laid to rest

by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:

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STATESVILLE, N.C. - Volunteer firefighter Marcus Kauffman was laid to rest Monday. His funeral was held at a high school auditorium in Statesville where family members from Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina came to honor the 25-year-old man. Hundreds of people showed up for the funeral.

"One of the most touching funerals. God is good," friend Matt Yoder said.

Eyewitness News didn't go inside the auditorium, because family members wanted privacy, but they aren't keeping their faith private at all.

"God didn't heal him the way we thought he would," Yoder said. "But for the family to come out and say God is still good -- they're still smiling through their tears -- that speaks volumes."

In a service lasting more than two hours, the community talked about Kauffman and where he is now. They believe that even though he won't get to see his unborn child grow up here on Earth, he's in a better place: heaven.

Investigators said Kauffman and his pregnant wife were returning to their home, near Cleveland, after a Thanksgiving trip.

Kauffman noticed a car in his driveway, took his wife to his friend's house and returned to check it out.

But investigators said he interrupted a burglary. One of the men at the home shot him in the back of the head, police said. Four people have been arrested in the case.

Friends say Kauffman's community has no anger towards the suspects. As they filed out of the auditorium and on their way to bury Kauffman, they smiled. Friends told Eyewitness News that God has a plan.

Read past coverage here.