Keyser, WV – Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Franks, 32, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Jan. 22.
The father of two was found alone at his home just after 7 p.m., the Cumberland Times-News reported.
"It is with great sadness that we regret to inform everyone of the death of Deputy Franks," Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor said on Jan. 23.
The “homegrown” deputy was a star athlete and 2004 graduate of Keyser High School – the same jurisdiction where he would later serve, the Mineral Daily News-Tribune reported.
He Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania on an academic scholarship, and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He also participated in football and track during his college career, according to his obituary.
Deputy Franks later served as a correctional officer, prisoner transporter and prison riot squad member at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta, West Virginia.
He subsequently attended the West Virginia Police Academy, and was hired by the MCSO in 2014.
The deputy said that his two young children, Aubrey and Zylar, “were the best things that ever happened to him,” his obituary read.
Following Deputy Franks’ death, Mineral County citizens and business owners began displaying blue and black drapes and the fallen deputy’s badge number throughout the county as a sign of solidarity, the Mineral Daily News-Tribune reported.
“They put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I think it is time that we are there for them,” resident Jennifer Simpson said. “I think this is an amazing way to show support and tribute for an amazing officer, a wonderful father and son.”
A black drape was also placed over the Mineral County Courthouse’s main entrance on Tuesday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Franks, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.