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'He told me he couldn't do it anymore,' Seagrove firefighter's wife claims husband shot himself

MJ Auman died Saturday. Detectives said his wife, Heather Hicks, made the 911 call, claiming he'd shot himself. She's now charged with first-degree murder.

RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — The wife of a longtime Seagrove firefighter is behind bars, accused of shooting and killing her husband. 

Randolph County Sheriff's Office said local firefighter "MJ" Mishael James Auman died Saturday. His wife, 37-year-old Heather Hicks Auman, is charged with first-degree murder. 

Deputies responded to a home on Ridge Road on Saturday. Two 911 calls came in - one from MJ's wife and another from a neighbor.

"My husband has shot himself...hurry, he needs help...we were just fussing, he told me he couldn't do it anymore and he pulled out his gun...he's got a pulse but he's not responding whatsoever," Heather said throughout her 911 call. 

Another call came in from a neighbor. 

"I need an ambulance here immediately. My neighbor just shot himself," the caller said. 

MJ was rushed to the hospital, but he didn't survive. 

After further investigation, detectives charged his wife in his death. Heather was arrested at her home on Wednesday. She's in Randolph County Jail with no bond allowed. 

MJ served the Seagrove community for more than 20 years and had strong ties to the Randolph County community. 

Credit: Ramseur Fire Department
Ramseur Fire Department shared this photo of former firefighter MJ Auman.

"MJ’s infectious smile, outgoing personality, and willingness to serve others will forever be missed throughout our county’s fire service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the MJ’s family and friends during this time of loss," Randolph County Fire Marshal Erik Beard said. 

Former co-worker, Rebecca Short, remembers MJ as a "great guy".

"He was such a great guy. He was kind and he was funny. He'd make you laugh until your sides hurt. When I heard the news that he had passed I was shocked. You move, things change, you lose touch, and then it all comes back around once you hear news of something like this," Short said. 

Credit: Rebecca Short

A community member mentioned how MJ was a "Go-getter" and how this is still shocking news to hear. 

“I think we are all still in shock. Of all people, the last you would expect," they said. 

MJ also leaves behind his 11-year-old son. Funeral arrangements are set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove. 

Heather appears in superior court on August 2. 

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