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The Henderson County sheriff's headquarters will be named for Ryan Hendrix, the sheriff's deputy who died in the line of duty on Sept. 10 responding to a call of a car break-in and shots fired in Mountain Home.

The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to name the South Grove Street building for Hendrix after Sheriff Lowell Griffin made a lengthy presentation recounting the death and thanking surrounding police departments and sheriff's offices, the commissioners and county personnel and the public for their support from the time of the deputy's death through the funeral service.

Hendrix died when he and two other deputies confronted a suspect who had exchanged gunfire with a homeowner in the predawn darkness in Mountain Home. The two other deputies shot and killed the suspect when he opened fire and shot Hendrix.

"Deputy Hendrix did not die in vain," Griffin said. "He died protecting one of the places that is still one of the most magnificent on earth. We are in the process of healing. It's a slow process. You are the reason we do what we do and we really appreciate you."

From the minute they received word of the deputy's death, county offices, surrounding cities and counties and the public showed tremendous support for the sheriff's office.

"Because he died in the line of duty, he needed to be transported to Winston-Salem" for an autopsy, Griffin said. While that's "typically a private transport," the county emergency medical services stepped up and helped, along with law enforcement agencies in all the counties the ambulance traveled through.

"It was truly a fitting ride for a hero," Griffin said. As the sheriff's office planned a tribute for Deputy Hendrix, the Hendersonville police department and other law enforcement agencies all came together to create "a masterpiece of an operations plan. It's phenomenal the family here, throughout Henderson County. The support of the people of Henderson County, the support of our government cannot be overstated. What we see here is really a testament as to why we do what we do. When we're looking across the nation and at some locations within our region, I question why any officer would put their life on the line to protect some of the chaos we're seeing, where the people and the government and segments of society are so unappreciative."

Commissioners praised Deputy Hendrix's service and that of other law officers.

"Certainly every day the men and women of law enforcement report to their duty station not knowing what kind of call they get or what kind of sacrifice they have to make," Chairman Grady Hawkins said.

"This board, staff has always come up with everything we can to support law enforcement and emergency services so you have all the training and everything we can give you to prevent something like this from ever happening," Commissioner Michael Edney said. "We consider ourselves part of the team and we hope you do as well."

"We put our head on the pillow worry free" because law officers work night and day, on weekend and holidays and in all conditions to protect the public, Commissioner Daniel Andreotta said.