HENDERSON CO., N.C. (WSPA) – We’re hearing for the first time from the family of a fallen hero, Deputy Ryan Hendrix, who lost his life in September while responding to a call in Henderson County.
7 News was there on Tuesday as Hendrix’ family was gifted with a large donation in Ryan Hendrix’ memory.
“I’d like to thank God for lending Ryan to us for 34 years,” Ryan’s father Don Hendrix said. “He was very special, a very special son, and he fulfilled the job he was to do in life.”
It’s been a little more than two months since Don Hendrix lost his son Ryan.
Ryan–who was a deputy at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office for eight years–was killed in the line of duty after responding to a shooting on Bethea Drive.
“Ryan would not appreciate us being mournful. He was doing his job, doing his duty, and he knew that this was always a possibility,” Don Hendrix said.
Still, the news hit many across the state of North Carolina pretty hard.
“We’re friends, we’re family, we’re citizens who are helped by them every day. We feel very passionate about defending them and helping them and giving back in cases like this where somebody makes the ultimate sacrifice,” Lindsay LiCausi, with “Back the Blue NC,” said.
That’s why, on Tuesday, LiCausi’s non-profit organization presented Deputy Hendrix’ family and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office with a memorial plaque and a check for $10,000 to benefit his children.
“This just shows Ryan’s outreach–not only in our community, but across the state,” Major Frank Stout, with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, said.
“He was a tremendous father,” Don Hendrix said. “He did everything with his children. Biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking.”
Don Hendrix said the special gift came just in time for Ryan’s children’s birthdays.
“They’re celebrating their birthdays this month. So, the daughter will be 9 and the son will be 6,” he said.
Lindsay LiCausi, who helped raise the money, said she hopes it will serve as a reminder to his children that their father will never be forgotten.
“Help provide them with some sort of financial security when they’re of age to receive that trust,” she said. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do for the pain of the family and the community, but we’re hoping we can at least help a little bit.”
“If they need to go to college or just start their lives,” Don Hendrix said. “They will miss their father, and we can’t replace that, but we hope that this will help them in their future.”
The donation for Ryan Hendrix’ children will be given to the Police Benevolent Association for now, but it will be given to his kids when they turn 18 to do with as they please.