HENDERSONVILLE, North Carolina -- A Henderson County Sheriff's deputy who was critically wounded in a shooting early Thursday morning has died.
Deputies responded to a 911 call regarding a vehicle breaking and entering at 207 Bethea Drive off of Piney Ridge in the Mountain Home community around 2:50 a.m., according to a news release.
The original caller stated shots were being exchanged between the homeowner and suspects. Upon arrival, deputies located a suspect and vehicle in the area. The deputies were fired upon and around 3:04 a.m. and Deputy Ryan Hendrix was struck by gunfire. Deputies returned fire, wounding the suspect who did not survive.
The injured deputy was transported to Mission Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
"Early this morning while the world slept, Ryan responded to assist a family needing help when they became innocent victims of a violent encounter. We all know the tragic outcome, but Ryan refuses to let the story end there," Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said in a statement. "Even in passing Ryan continues to exemplify a servant’s heart. You see, Ryan was also an organ donor. He will continue to help strangers for a lifetime, even after making the ultimate sacrifice."
Griffin said that Hendrix's family wants everyone to know that "Ryan was doing the job he was born to do and he died doing the job he loved."
Investigators from the State Bureau of investigation and Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit are investigating the incident.
Funeral arrangements are pending.