"Christopher was a special young man," Southampton County Sheriff Vernie Francis Jr. said to WAVY-TV reporter Eric Harryman. "Together, supporting each other and all of us relying on our faith, we’re going to honor Christopher, his family, his friends, and we’re going to move forward."
Flowers and notes covered a patrol car parked outside the Southampton County Courthouse, a tribute to Ray’s standing in the community.
Ray was born in Franklin and a member of Courtland United Methodist Church, according to his obituary. Ray graduated in 2005 from Southampton Academy and in 2009 from Radford University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Ray was the son of Kenneth and Anne Ray. Kenneth Ray told WAVY: "He was doing what he truly wanted to do, law enforcement. When he graduated from Radford, he knew exactly where he was headed."
Ray died early Saturday while responding to a fight call in Newsoms. The patrol car he was riding in swerved to avoid a fallen tree in the road and subsequently struck another tree off the right shoulder. The driver of the car, Deputy Jason Brinkley, was treated and released at Southampton Memorial Hospital.
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