CATAWBA, N.C. (WNCN/WBTV) – The GoFundMe campaign for a North Carolina father who was fatally shot while trying to help a driver stuck in the snow has been closed after raising $20,000 in just one day.
Jefferson Heavner, 26, of Newton, was shot to death when he went to help a driver stuck in the snow and ice on Friday evening, according to authorities. Heavner was a single father of a 17-month-old boy.
According to the Catawba County Sheriff, a driver spun out on ice along Mathis Church Road Friday night. Neighbors who overheard the wreck went out to check on the incident.
Heavner, who was driving a truck, encountered the incident and pulled over the help the driver, who then shot and killed him minutes later, according to authorities.
The driver of the stuck car was identified as 27-year-old Marvin Jacob Lee, of Claremont, who has since been charged in the killing, deputies said.
According to the sheriff, Lee was acting odd and belligerent. The neighbors and Heavner were talking about calling police when Lee apparently overheard them, jumped out of the car and shot Heavner, officials said.
When Heavner, 26, fell to the ground, Lee fired several more shots that hit him, officials said. According to the sheriff, Heavner died from the gunshot wounds.
When deputies arrived at the scene, Lee reportedly refused to get out of the car.
An armored car was called to the scene and deputies had to approach the vehicle with shields before Lee would get out of the car.
When he was taken into custody, the sheriff says Lee still had the pistol on him. Lee was arrested and charged with murder.
Heavner was a graduate of Bandys High School, according to his Facebook profile.
“This was a senseless crime that took a son, brother and father from a family that loves him dearly,” his family wrote on the GoFundMe page created for Heavner’s son. “Jefferson, who was a single dad, leaves behind a 17-month-old son that will also require care and continued support.”
According to an update on the the GoFundMe page, the family received more than enough money to meet the child’s immediate needs.
On behalf of the family, they would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers, love, financial and emotional support during this unexpected tragedy.
The dontations has far exceeded anything that the family could have ever dreamed. Although the roads ahead for the family will still be difficult, the generosity from caring people not only from the community but across the country will help to lay Jefferson to rest. Additonal funds after funeral expenses will be used for continued support of Jefferson’s son.
At this time the family is stopping the go fund me campaign as the requested funds met the immediate needs being requested. We will continue to update the community.”
Lee appeared in court Monday morning, WBTV reported.
People who know Lee told WBTV they don’t understand why he would do what he is accused of.
WBTV contributed to this report.