BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - Family members are preparing to bury a U.S. Forest Service officer killed in the line of duty. Officer Jason Crisp was shot and killed during a search for a murder suspect Wednesday. There was a procession along Interstate 40 Thursday to pay tribute to the fallen officer.
“He just (was) loved by everybody. I was on the bridge today and I just couldn’t believe all the officers,” Crisp’s aunt Judy Johnson said.
Officers and firefighters from all over the area lined the bridge.
“He was a great father, a great husband and a good Christian man,” Johnson said. “And he loved his work. He was dedicated, very dedicated.”
Crisp and his K-9 were killed while tracking murder suspect Troy Whisnant in Burke County. His aunt told Channel 9 he wasn’t even supposed to be at work, but he answered a call for help.
An officer who worked with Crisp said, "Maros will be buried with Officer Crisp and thus will remain the sword and faithful companion at his right side eternally."
“He was called in because there was a gate that needed to be unlocked and he evidently had the key,” Johnson said.
LIVE UPDATES: Burke Co. officer and his K9 killed in line of duty
Investigators now believe Crisp was shot at close range. He leaves behind a wife and two kids. Investigators shot and killed Whisnant two hours after they say he shot Crisp.
“If you had a normal day today, you need to be thankful because our family has not had a normal day today,” Johnson said.
The visitation for Crisp will be Sunday at the West Court Baptist Church in Marion from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. His funeral will be held Monday 2 p.m. at McDowell High School and will be open to the public and the media. McDowell County schools will be dismissed at noon.
U.S. Forest Service memorial page for Jason Crisp
COMPLETE PAST COVERAGE: Officer, suspect among 4 killed in Burke Co.