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Faulkner County Mourns Fallen Deputy

Faulkner County mourning after the sudden death of a deputy during a training exercise.
Inside the small grocery in Mayflower, it isn't quite business as usual, though the cash register ring ups continue. The day after Faulkner County Sheriff Deputy Hans Fifer's death is a somber one for the small town.

"Hans was a fine man, " a customer at the store said, talking to owner Linda Evans.

She smiles and agrees, "In here, everybody asks have you heard about Hans? How is his family doing?" Evans told us. "He was a real fine man, I've never heard a negative thing about him. That's saying something about somebody in a small town."

Outside Linda's Grocery, flags fly at half staff across Mayflower to honor fallen Faulkner County Sheriff Deputy Hans Fifer.

"I've taken it hard. A lot of people have taken it hard," Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock said.

Fifer, 32, is believed to have suffered a heart attack during a S.W.A.T. training exercise. He had been with the Sheriff's Office full-time just four months. He had served as an auxiliary officer before that and had worked as a patrolman in Cabot for five years.

He leaves behind a wife and two small daughters, ages three and five.

"The family is doing really well, all things considered," Shock said. "They're remembering the amazing father, son, husband that they had in Hans."

According to Shock, Fifer had all of the qualities of a great deputy and man.

"He was one of the most sincere, soft-spoken, humble people you'd ever meet. This is has left us all shaken up. We have counselors available for our staff. But ultimately, my job is to be fully supportive of his family and my other officers."

Those who knew Hans agree with Shock's assessment, saying he was a family man to the core and always willing to help out others.

"Any time you needed anything he was there," Evans said. "He was your go-to guy. Our community is losing a lot by losing him."

"He was just one of those great public servants with a servants heart," Shock said.

As people come and go through Evans' door, more than a passing through is given to the man who was always thinking of others.

"In a small town when you have a loss, a tragedy like this,  everybody comes together for the family," Evans said.

Shock said the family is finalizing plans for Fifer's funeral, Roller-McNutt Funeral Home will be handling the services.
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