‘We lost a family member’: Colleagues share who fallen officer was beyond badge

CONCORD, N.C. — Concord police held a candlelight vigil Friday honoring fallen officer Jason Shuping.

The 25-year-old was killed in the line of duty Wednesday night, and is being remembered for his bravery and ultimate sacrifice.

The vigil and a “chalk the walk” event started at 6 p.m. in front of Concord Police headquarters.

The Mayor of Concord was there and shared a conversation he had with Shuping the day he was sworn in. He asked Shuping what brought him to Concord. The Mayor said he responded with two words: family and community.

Channel 9’s Susanna Black attended the vigil and spoke with four of the officers closest to Shuping. They laughed, cried and shared memories of who he was behind the badge.

“We lost a family member, and you can’t know how bad that hurts until it does happen,” said one of the officers.

When Susanna asked the officers what was it about Shuping that made him the right guy to wear the badge, one of them said, “I’ve never seen someone so happy to come to work, put on a uniform, and then when he walked into a room with that goofy smile of his it would just light up a room.”

When asked about favorite memories, one officer told a story about Shuping and a prank during the police chief’s swearing-in ceremony, and said Shuping “would take a joke ... he would give jokes. Just a great guy -- fit in with the rest of our squad. He was a teammate. He was family.”

The officers said Shuping’s legacy is that he was always there for a community that needed him, and he never did it for recognition or money -- just because he had a good heart.

“A helper, a warrior, a great friend, family member ... we’re going to miss him,” one of the officers said.

The group said another funny thing they wanted people to know about Shuping was that they called him Reba because of his red hair.

“It’s going to be tough, but Jason would want nothing more than us sitting here, smiling and laughing, and talking about how goofy and how awesome of a person he was,” one officer said.

Officer Kaleb Robinson was also hurt in the shooting. Channel 9 learning Friday that he is out of the hospital and was able to attend the vigil Friday night to honor Shuping.