ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The parents of Tyler Hamilton want their son remembered for the life he led, not for the circumstances in which he died.
Hamilton, 30, was shot and killed on Wednesday in Granite Quarry. Police say Andrew Myers was “lying in wait” to ambush Hamilton when he came out of a home where the estranged wife of Myers was living. After killing Hamilton, Myers turned the gun on himself.
“We want to remember Tyler..he was a really good boy," mother Jill Hamilton said. “He loved God, he loved his momma…he was really close to his brother."
They just can’t believe that he is gone. Tyler Hamilton was a firefighter, and he loved the fire service.
“We want to remember Tyler for what he loved most, and that was firefighting," his mother added.
In December he was named the Firefighter of the Year for the Millers-Ferry Department. It’s an award he had also won with other departments across Rowan County.
“Every time he heard sirens or something he’d perk his head up," his mother remembered.
On Thursday morning there was a house fire just around the corner from where Tyler’s parents live. Dad Rick and brother Trevor were among the first to respond. They did that for Tyler.
“When the alarm went off this morning at 7, Trevor was standing in the door and I was standing in the kitchen," Rick Hamilton said, "we looked at each other, paused for a little bit and Trevor said I want to go, so I said alright, let’s go.”
Tyler Hamilton had a goofy sense of humor and a sincere fear of clowns, his parents say. They are trying to focus now on those happy memories.
“We’re just trying to put things together," his mother said.
The circumstances of his death were so senseless, they say. Jill Hamilton is just glad that the last time she saw her son, he made sure she knew that he loved her.
“Just, you know, hug your child…I got my hug, he told me he loved me more than anything else in this world, and he said I’ll be alright mom, I’ll be alright,” she said.
The family is working to complete funeral plans.