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Fred Cox family announces lawsuit in shooting death by deputy

The 18-year-old was shot and killed by a deputy in plain clothes while attending a funeral.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The family of an 18-year-old shot and killed by a Davidson County Sheriff’s Deputy in November announced a civil lawsuit against the sheriff's office Wednesday and continued to call for accountability. 

The family's lawyers said the deputy's deadly use of force was "not justified under any circumstances."

Police said detective Michael Shane Hill was in plain clothes when he shot and killed Frederick Cox at Living Water Baptist Church in High Point on November 8, 2020. A crowd was leaving a funeral service at the church when people started shooting from at least two cars and, at some point, the deputy shot Cox. Investigators said about 70 rounds were fired. According to the SBI, Hill was at the service at the request of the family and to make contact with potential witnesses in the killing of Jonas Thompson, Jr., that happened a couple of weeks prior.

Family members and attorneys assisting the family said Cox tried to save lives by getting people inside the church.

"Fred held the door to make sure others got out of harm’s way and he took the bullets," said civil rights attorney Ben Crump in January. "He's a hero, you can't kill a hero," Crump said.

According to the autopsy report, the deputy “observed Cox with a handgun at the time {the deputy} discharged his weapon and other witnesses observed a handgun near Cox after he was shot.” The autopsy report noted that Cox was shot four times and did not fire a weapon.

The Guilford County District Attorney said no charges would be filed against Hill, but Cox’s family wants justice. 

"We're fighting for my grandson, we're fighting for my father who we had to place in a rehab facility because he sat on the porch countless days and hours and we finally asked daddy why are you sitting on the porch," said Tenicka Shannon, Cox’s mother. "He's waiting on Fred. Fred is not coming. Even during the protest, he called me crying."

Cox leaves behind two infants, a 1-year-old and a 9-month-old.

The family will hold a press conference at noon Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse in Greensboro. You can watch it live in this story or on our YouTube page

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