Fundraising efforts for the family of a Harnett County deputy recovering from gunshot wounds sustained in a April 14th incident are underway.
The first of several fundraisers planned to benefit Harnett County Sheriff’s Corporal Eric Cook will take place Saturday, April 21st in Spout Springs, while a GoFundMe page has already seen donations.
The Dunkin Donuts shop located along N.C. 24/87 near Spout Springs (1490 N.C. 24/87 Unit 1 Cameron for GPS location) will donate 100 percent of its sales from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday to Cpl. Cook’s family.
Also, The Wing Company will donate 25 percent of food sales from open to close on Saturday to Cpl. Cook and his family. It’s located at 1574 N.C. 87, Cameron.
The events are just the tip of the iceberg as far as fundraising is concerned. Members of the Benhaven Fire Department, of which he serves as a captain, have created a GoFundMe page with a goal of reaching $5,000.
Efforts to show support for Cpl. Cook’s family doesn’t stop there, thanks to the concern of some civic-minded citizens, an additional $930 was given to the sheriff’s office on behalf of Cpl. Cook duringTuesday night’s Citizens Academy class.
Local attorney Seth Barefoot, who is a member of the class, said the participants have earned new insight into the sheriff’s office and felt it was only natural to offer assistance to Cpl. Cook.
“Over the past few weeks we have seen behind the curtain into the world of the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement in general,” he said. “Being all of us come from such drastically different backgrounds, we have each come to appreciate firsthand the job these men and women are doing for the public daily.”
With that in mind, Mr. Barefoot emailed his classmates and told them of the desire to help. As a result, the money was presented to Sheriff Wayne Coats.
“I have received a tremendous response from the majority of them,” Mr. Barefoot said. “Each have expressed a desire to give.”
A total of 22 members of the class had already donated $850 before Tuesday night’s class, according to Mr. Barefoot. An additional $80 was raised during the class and also given to Cpl. Cook’s family.
“I know these are trying times and he will have a long road to recovery,” Mr. Barefoot said. “However, it is my hope that if the community were to see such action being taken by such a small group of individuals, they may also feel the need to help Deputy Cook and his family during this difficult time.”
In an update provided by sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Huber Wednesday morning, it was learned Cpl. Cook has been moved from the Intensive Care Unit and will undergo surgery this week.
According to his wife, Melissa, in an update posted to the Go-FundMe page on Tuesday, Cpl. Cook is in good spirits and has been able to respond to verbal commands and questions by squeezing his hand and blinking.
She also described the extent of the injuries he sustained during Saturday night’s incident in the update. Mrs. Cook said her husband can open one eye and they are waiting to find out the damage to the other eye left behind where the bullet entered just below the eye.
She also said her husband has several facial fractures and the lower jaw opposite where the bullet entered is shattered from where the bullet exited.
In addition to a shattered ankle, he also has tendon damage and a torn ligament, with surgery scheduled this week for both his ankle and face.
Donations are currently being accepted for the family at the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office as well as through the GoFund-Me page where contributions can be made at the following link, gofundme.com/praying-forjames-quotericquot-cook-jr.
T-shirts are also being created to honor Cpl. Cook and to support his family. More information on the shirts is available by emailing email@example.com. All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be delivered to the Cook family.
Cpl. Cook, a father of two, was shot in the chest and face Saturday night as he was trying to locate a missing juvenile in the Spout Springs area. Mario Garza III, 16, has been arrested for the shooting. He was the missing juvenile. Story courtesy The Daily Record