‘It just leaves us up in limbo’: Family of Fred Cox pushes SBI to make report of son’s death public

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — After four long months of investigations, the family of Fred Cox is demanding that charges be brought in their son’s death or for the SBI to make their findings public. 

Cox, 18, was shot and killed by a plain clothed Davidson County deputy in High Point on November 8, 2020. 

Cox had been attending the funeral at Living Water Baptist Church on Brentwood Street in High Point. 

High Point Police said that as the funeral concluded, and crowds of people were leaving the church, a number of unknown vehicles pulled up and began shooting into the crowd. 

Roughly 70 bullets were later found by High Point investigators. 

The attorney for Cox’s family, Allen Rogers, explained that Cox was sitting inside of his car when the shooting started. Rogers said Cox got out of his car and ran to the church to help get people to safety. 

“Fred opened the door to allow this young man and his mother…to go inside the church. That officer shot him five times in the back,” Rogers said.

Cox was the only person who died during the chaos. 

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office placed the deputy on administrative leave, per protocol. 

Ten days after the shooting, State Bureau Investigators released a brief report, which explained some of the initial findings in the case. 

It stated that the deputy had been asked to attend the funeral. It was held for a young man who had been murdered, and the hope was that the deputy, if appearing in plain clothes, could help track down witnesses. 

The report also states that the deputy observed Cox with a handgun, and that Cox had a handgun next to him when he died. High Point police have also released findings that Cox was known to have gang affiliates.

Witnesses tell FOX8 they never saw Cox in possession of a firearm, and his family denounced the allegations made by police about his gang affiliations.

His mother, Tenicka Shannon, and his friends closest to him have said he was not a gang member and had posted several times on social media against gang violence. 

On Monday, during a news conference, Cox’s mother, their attorney and Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, addressed recent findings in an autopsy report of Cox.

It showed that he was shot in the back multiple times and had no signs of gun residue on his hands, meaning he did not fire any weapon at the time of his death. 

At the news conference, Crump said he feels autopsy report shows the deputy was negligent.

“There was nobody shooting at this side of the church. That’s what all the eye witnesses said. The only person who shot was the police officer,” Crump said.

Cox’s mother said that she has not heard from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, the SBI or any other law enforcement agency since the investigation began.

“It just leaves us up in limbo,” she said on Monday. 

A spokesperson for the SBI stated that the full report could be turned over to the Guilford County DA’s office as early as next week. It would be up to the DA to file any charges against the deputy involving in Cox’s death. 

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office has not released a statement since the autopsy’s findings. 

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