NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — A nonprofit organization is leading the efforts to help raise money for a Craven County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was shot last Friday during an incident in the county.
Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes posted on the Friends of Craven County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page that donations are now being accepted for Deputy Zachary Bellingham. Robert Westrup was charged Monday with attempted first-degree murder and assault on a law enforcement officer after Bellingham was shot while serving an Involuntary Commitment Order issued by a magistrate against Westrup.
Bellingham was taken to Vidant Medical Center Friday night with serious injuries. He has since left the intensive care unit and is going through the recovery process.
The statement from Hughes read:
“On behalf of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office family, I want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to each one of you who have reached out to our Office since last Friday night’s tragedy. While Deputy Bellingham’s injuries are very serious, we are grateful he is showing signs of improvement. His recovery will be a long and difficult process and he will continue to need our prayers and support. Many have contacted our Office to ask what they can do to help Deputy Bellingham, so the Friends of Craven County Sheriff’s Office has offered to collect monetary donations for him through their 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. FOCCSO has been very effectively fundraising and educating the public for our Animal Protective Services and K9 units working with the Craven County Sheriff’s Office. All money donated on behalf of Deputy Bellingham will go directly to pay his expenses. Any donations will be greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you all.”
Hughes said so far, the response for donations has been overwhelming.
“We are so thankful, that we have the public’s support in this because that’s what we need more than anything. In conversations with the family, and with Zack, he is so appreciative and humbled by the overwhelming support,” Hughes said.
Checks can be sent to Friends of Craven County Sheriff’s Office at P.O. Box 1822-6 South Glenburnie Rd. PMB 266 in New Bern, 28562. Put “Deputy Bellingham” on the check. You can also click here to access a PayPal account set up for donations.
Hughes says he has spoken with Bellingham, and he is very appreciative of everyone reaching out to him and making donations and that he feels blessed to live in such a kind community.
Hughes also said based on conversations with Bellingham, his family and his doctors, it will be a long recovery for him.