Mourning Ofc. Jason Crisp and K9 Maros
MORGANTON, N.C. - Officer Jason Crisp was a father, a husband, a hero. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory says, "I'm both heart broken and proud all at the same time." McCrory traveled to Burke County Thursday to spend time with Crisp's wife, two sons, brother, sister, mom, and dad. McCrory says, "I think Crisp made the ultimate sacrifice. And he saved the lives of civilians."
It started when friends of Levi and Rhonda Whisnant called police Wednesday, saying they hadn't heard from the couple. Deputies went to their Morganton home and found the couple shot dead in the basement. Investigators think they'd been there since Sunday. They also noticed a vehicle was missing. That discovery put deputies on a trail that led to at least two more stolen vehicles, drug paraphernalia, broken-into homes, two stolen firearms, and ultimately, the couple's son, 38-year-old Troy Whisnant, who'd been living with them.
Sheriff Steve Whisenant says, "It appears that the suspect was staying in the home after the shootings."
Knowing Burke County Sheriff's Deputies were trying to hunt down Whisnant before he hurt anyone else, 38-year-old Officer Crisp volunteered to help search with his K9, Maros. The Sheriff says, "Just a top officer and ready to do his duty and offered his services."
Whisnant shot and killed Crisp and Maros during the manhunt. Later, Whisnant tried to shoot more officers. They returned fire, killing him.
The Grandfather Ranger District where Crisp was stationed closed Thursday. Flags flew at half staff. Crisp's brothers and sisters in law enforcement saluted the fallen officer as his body was driven back to his hometown of Marion. US Forest Service Public Information Officer Michelle Burnett says, "He was a very highly respected federal law enforcement officer. He was a kind and understanding man, a loving husband and father."
This case is not closed yet. The Sheriff says investigators are looking into whether more vehicles were stolen or homes broken into. Funeral arrangements for Officer Crisp and Maros haven't been finalized.