Local News

Fayetteville man killed in Kabul remembered as 'genuine, down to earth'

Posted January 30, 2015 4:16 p.m. EST
Updated January 30, 2015 10:17 p.m. EST

— An American contractor who was shot and killed at the Kabul airport Thursday was from Fayetteville.

Walt Fisher, a former Fayetteville and Spring Lake police officer, was one of three American civilian aircraft mechanics who were killed.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility, saying the shooter was a Taliban fighter wearing an Afghan police uniform who infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces to stage the attack.

The shooting took place Thursday evening in an exclusively military section of the North Kabul International Airport complex.

Friends and former co-workers remembered Fisher fondly Friday, telling WRAL News that he was born to be a police officer and had the look of authority while still being friendly and engaging.

Fisher began with the Spring Lake Police Department in the early 90s. After a few years, he joined the Fayetteville Police Department, where he worked as a patrol officer and on the SWAT team until about 2000.

Former Spring Lake police chief Gil Campbell says he remembers hiring Fisher.

"He liked people, and the guys around me were mostly people persons. They could talk to anyone in any setting, and Walt was that kind of guy," Campbell said. "It's very difficult because it's family to me, because these guys put their life on the line for me, and they made my job easier ... A chief is only as good as his officers, and Walt was one of the best."

Jimmy Henley worked with Fisher in Spring Lake, and Fisher served as a groomsman in his wedding. Henley says what he remembers most is that no one told a story quite like Fisher.

"We'd be at work, working long hours, and then he'd start telling one of his stories, and you'd just forget you've been sitting out there for 12 hours. You start laughing and cutting up with him," Henley recalled. "Walt was a very genuine, down-to-earth guy."

Campbell, his former boss, says he saw Fisher in December and got the impression that this may have been his last tour in Afghanistan. Campbell says he remembered Fisher saying he was looking to do something else.

Fisher is survived by his wife, daughter and mother, all of whom live in Myrtle Beach.