Hospital officials in Charlotte say a volunteer firefighter, who was shot in the head during a robbery at his home, has died after he was taken off life support.
According to a spokesman for Carolinas Medical Center, Marcus Kauffman died on Friday.
His family announced on aFacebook page called "Praying for Marco" on Friday morning that they had planned to remove him from life support.
"Yesterday God came and flooded us with peace. Even hope," the family wrote. "This morning the test results came back. We are choosing to bless God and let go of our dear Marco, for it seems God is calling him to Himself. Words fail, but through our pain and tears, we bless God."
"We worship Him," the statement continued. "While we certainly would not have written the story this way, we know God is the Master Author, and He makes no mistakes. And in light of eternity, we know this parting will be only a moment in time. Soon we will all be gathered around the throne of God, together forever more, worshipping our perfect and holy Lord. With Marco. "
The family then stated they needed prayers "now more than ever" as they proceeded.
A post the day before stated that the 23-year-old newlywed's condition had "worsened drastically" from Tuesday to Wednesday.
"A CT scan last night showed new damage to his brain, and his pressure levels were worse than ever," The post stated.
"This morning the doctors expressed that they have done everything they can and that it may be time to let go. Please pray for wisdom from God to know whether or not to remove him from life support. Pray for peace, and for an overwhelming assurance of God's presence and grace at this time."
"We have wept and prayed, surrendered Marco into God's hands. We know that God is well able to heal him. But we also know that God does not always choose to heal. We have asked God to bring glory to His name in which ever way He chooses."
Kauffman and his wife Maryanne, who is pregnant, were returning home on December 2 from visiting family. The Kauffman's noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near their home that appeared to be broken-down.
Marcus dropped his wife off at a near-by friend's house, and returned to offer assistance.
But when he returned, he discovered that the people at the car appeared to be removing items from his home. Some of those items, including a computer and a hand gun officials say may have been used in the shooting, have since been recovered.
Kauffman called 911 to report the incident, but during the conversation, told the dispatcher that shots were being fired before the call was lost.
He was found in his car with a very severe gunshot wound to his head.
In the following two weeks, four people were arrested in connection to the case.
Deputies say 18-year-old Tramel Devon Hart turned himself in at the Rowan County Magistrate's Office on three days later and was charged with accessory after fact.
Jalend Daquan Turner, 19, was arrested four days after the shooting and charged with attempted murder. Michael Dwayne Teasley was also arrested. He is charged with accessory after the fact.
Khari Dewayne McClelland, 23, was arrested in the Newton-Conover area a week after the shooting. He is charged with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, and felony larceny of a firearm.
According to arrest warrants issued for McClelland, officials believe he stole the laptop computer, a desktop computer, an Xbox gaming system, and a firearm.
After Kauffman passed away Friday, the charges on McClelland and Turner were upgraded to first degree murder. They received no bond.
The charges against hart and Teasley were also upgraded to accessory after the fact to first degree murder.
Since the shooting, family, friends and strangers have showed support for Kauffman, both on the "Praying for Marco" Facebook page, and in other ways.
Marcus Kauffman served on the Scotch Irish Volunteer Fire Department. Fellow firefighters are asking for prayers. At the Cleveland Community Volunteer Fire Department, strangers have been stopping in to donate money for Kauffman's family.
Members who attend church with Kauffman at Cleveland Believer's Fellowship Church said,
"We've been praying for the guy a lot. That God would somehow get through to him in this, and he wouldn't get away with it."
Church members say Kauffman and his wife were supposed to have left two days after the shooting with the church choir to sing and preach at a Florida prison.
According to the Praying for Marco Facebook page Kauffman's visitation will be held at Mac Grey Auditorium in Statesville on Sunday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Kauffman's funeral will be on Monday at 1 p.m. at the Auditorium. The viewing will be 12 p.m.
The Facebook page says the semi private burial will be at Cleveland Believer Fellowship in Woodleaf, North Carolina.
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