SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WNCN) – More than 150 people gathered Wednesday to celebrate the life of a Harnett County father of three who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy earlier this month.
John Livingston, 33, was shot at least three times when deputies came to his Spring Lake home around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 looking for someone involved in an assault case, witnesses and officials said.
Despite the circumstances surrounding Livingston’s death, those gathered Wednesday decided to focus on his life at the service at Church and the Creek in Spring Lake .
“I hate to see the way it went down because it didn’t have to, they could have done it a different way,” said friend Jeff Smith.
Livingston was remembered as the life of the party, loving, compassionate, and a dear friend.
“He made a huge impact on me. He was just a good guy to hang out with,” said friend Monique Woods.
He worked as a carpenter. Loved ones said he could fix just about anything.
Penny Setzer said “He got on my nerves because he always told me ‘thank you.’ I was like, for what? ‘Thank you for being my friend,’ he’d say.”
He enjoyed NASCAR and participating in horseshoe tournaments. And he was crazy about rock music.
“He was like our No. 1 fan, he’d stand right there, getting us going, get the crowd going for us,” Smith said.
Remembrance services were held at the Church of the Creek.
Livingston and his roommate, Clayton Carroll, told authorities, who did not have a search warrant, that the man deputies wanted did not live at the home on Everett Street.
Livingston then told authorities to leave, adding that they couldn’t come in without a search warrant, Carroll said.
But during that incident, authorities claim Livingston shut the door on a deputy’s foot, which sparked an altercation between Livingston and Deputy Nicholas Kehagais.
Carroll said that deputies kicked open the door, but officials disagree.
In court documents, authorities say Kehagais dropped his stun gun and Livingston picked it up and shocked the deputy which led to Kehagais shooting Livingston at least three times.
Witnesses said Livingston was not fighting back and was trying to get the Taser out of the deputy’s hands.
Livingston died around 4 a.m. on the front porch of his home.