High Point, North Carolina community members gathered on Friday to honor the life of Frederick Cox. Cox was an 18-year-old Black teen who was fatally shot in Nov. 2020 by a plain clothes Davidson County deputy while attending a funeral.
As shots rang out from a drive-by shooting, Cox was struck as he attempted to usher attendees to safety.
Cox’s family is advocating for justice, hiring civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump as legal representation to bring awareness to the case. Supporters are also using the hashtag #Fredslifematters in order to circulate the efforts.
Footage captured by WGHP Fox 8 reporter Daniel Pierce on Friday shows Fox’s supporters along with Crump ahead of the march.
According to WXII, Cox was attending the funeral of a man named Jonas Thompson on Nov. 8, 2020, when shots rang out from the parking lot. The deputy who fatally shot Cox was attending the funeral as part of the investigation into Thompson’s death and opened fire striking Cox in the aftermath.
Witnesses told police that the shots were fired by unknown individuals who were riding in a four-door Dodge charge and a white-four-door-sedan. Police believe the shooting was part of a gang retaliation effort. To date no suspects have been arrested in connection to the shooting.
Cox’s family demand answers regarding why he was a targeted, as police attempt to justify the shooting, alleging Cox was fired upon because he was armed.
“The deputy reported he observed Cox with a handgun at the time he discharged his service weapon and other witnesses observed a handgun near Cox after he was shot,” the State Bureau of Investigations said in November.
The Deputy who fatally wounded Cox has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Cox’s family refutes that claim that could pointing to the fact that he sustained several shots, many of which struck him in the back. An autopsy has not been released in the case.
“The truth is it was multiple shots and they were all from the back and no one has taken accountability in the situation,” Temeka Thatch, Cox’s adoptive mother told WXII. “We want charges filed.”
Cox’s birth mother Tenicka Shannon says she honors her son everyday by sending him a verbal message.
“I would thank him for doing what I know he’s always done, and that’s protect,” said Tenicka Shannon. “Every day I tell him, ‘Job well done.'”
A12-year-old attendee at the funeral penned a moving letter dedicated to Cox, thanking him for saving his life.
Cox’s family began a petition on Change.org urging District Attorney Avery Crump to bring forth charges.
“The Smith/Cox family needs your support in having the man responsible for Frederick Cox’s death arrested and charged. On November 8, 2020 Mr. Cox was shot several times at a funeral while trying to protect those around him during a drive-by shooting. It was the families initial understanding that those doing the drive-by was responsible for his death. It was later discovered that an undercover officer who was out of jurisdiction was responsible for his killing,” the description reads.
“Mr. Cox had his life cut short at the young age of 18. Frederick was an amazing father and entrepreneur who had big dreams. He was a great athlete and loved by all at his recent Alma mater. He was well known for standing up for what is right, so it is only right that we stand up for him. Please help bring Fred’s family justice and awareness by signing and spreading this petition.”