When Jason Nicholas Shuping received his last commendation as an officer for the Concord Police Department, his first reaction was that he did not deserve it.
That was the attitude of the young 25-year-old officer from Salisbury, said Rev. Richard Myers, who officiated the funeral service Tuesday for Shuping. The officer died last week after a shooting as he responded to a call.
Concord police Chief Gary Gacek said Shuping had received the commendation after he had investigated some burglaries at a mall and figured out the suspect was someone he had arrested the day before.
It was good solid police work, Gacek said, but Shuping saw it as a team effort. The next day, there was a note wrapped around the commendation with a rubber band.
“Thank you, but I didn’t earn this. Hold on to it for me until I have,” it read.
Over 300 people attended Shuping’s funeral on Tuesday at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord. A burial will follow at Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith Cemetery.
Shuping was shot while responding to a carjacking call in a Sonic parking lot last Wednesday. He had been with the department for less than two years.
Over three dozen officers in motorcycles led the hearse that carried Shuping’s casket to the arena and the parking lot was filled with police cars.
Wreaths and blue and white flowers filled the stage, and the Concord police badge hung at the podium. Across a ribbon was written his unit number “#4434”, which will be retired from the department, Gacek said.
Six uniformed Concord police officers carried and saluted the casket, which was draped with an American flag.
‘A smile that could light up the room’
A former Boy Scout, Shuping wanted to be the best police officer he could be, according to his obituary. He received his basic law enforcement training at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College where he was a top shooter in his class and received commendations.
Shuping was also a member of Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith and the handbell choir. He volunteered with vacation Bible school and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Faith is a town outside of Salisbury and has a population of around 800, according to the Rowan County Visitors Bureau.
In his free time, he could be found cheering for the Carolina Panthers, working on home improvement projects or “eating enough for two,” his obituary states.
“Jason had a larger than life personality and a smile that could light up the room,” according to the obituary.
Shuping attended East Rowan High School and graduated magna cum laude from UNC-Pembroke in 2018. He was on the track team at both schools and studied criminal justice and sociology and terrorism studies.
Shuping leaves behind his parents, a brother, a sister, a half-sister, several in-laws and his wife, Haylee, whom he married in 2018.
A death in the line of service
The shooting occurred just before 11 p.m. Dec. 16 in the parking lot of the Sonic Drive-In near Bruton Smith Boulevard, Concord officials said last week.
Police say the incident began when a Concord police officer and an on-duty state Alcohol Law Enforcement agent found a crashed vehicle near an exit of Interstate 85. After speaking to a citizen, police said the officers found the suspect, 29-year-old Jeremy Maurice Daniels, at the parking lot of a Sonic drive-in.
Concord police said when the officers and the ALE agent approached Daniels, he started shooting at an officer. Officials believe this was when Shuping was shot and another officer, 23-year-old Kaleb Robinson, sustained minor injuries. Robinson also had been with the department for less than two years.
Daniels was later shot and killed by officers, police said.
The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident. Three officers who were also on scene have been put on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting, officials said.
Shuping is the second police officer in the Charlotte area to die in the line of service this month. Mount Holly police Officer Tyler Herndon died after being shot while responding to a call on Dec. 11.
A Kings Mountain police officer was wounded in a gunfire exchange with a suspect on Saturday.