Boone, NC – Two Watauga County sheriff’s deputies were murdered during a 13-hour standoff on Wednesday.
One of the wounded deputies remained trapped inside the home with the barricaded shooter until the gunman fatally shot himself late Wednesday night, Morgantown Department of Public Safety (MDPS) Major Ryan Lander told The News Herald shortly before 11 p.m.
The incident began at approximately 9:44 a.m. on April 28 when Watauga County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Sergeant Chris Ward and Deputy Logan Fox, a K9 handler, responded to 553 Hardaman Circle to conduct a welfare check, according to police.
The welfare check was initiated after the homeowner and other residents who lived at the home didn’t show up for work and didn’t answer the phone, WBTV reported.
Authorities said that as soon as the deputies entered the home, somebody inside began shooting at them.
Sgt. Ward and Deputy Fox were both struck by the gunfire.
Two helicopters arrived on the scene quickly to transport the deputies to a trauma center, but only Sgt. Ward could be reached by rescuers.
Deputy Fox remained trapped inside the home with the gunman, The News Herald reported.
Sgt. Ward was airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, where he was pronounced dead.
Watauga County deputy killed, second deputy shot as standoff ends overnight— Tactical Dog (@TacticalDogLive) April 29, 2021
😢RIP Sgt. Chris Ward🇺🇸💙
🙏Prayers for K9 Deputy Logan Fox, condition unknownhttps://t.co/Hkwe5lEPcU #BlueLine #BackTheBlue #dog #K9 #police #military #WaronDrugs #LivePD pic.twitter.com/KJxV5ssW4R
The WCSO said the gunman barricaded himself inside the residence and continued to take shots at deputies outside during the hours that followed, WBTV reported.
Hundreds of officers from multiple agencies flocked to the scene to assist with the active shooter situation, according to The News Herald.
A look at the procession for Sgt. Chris Ward, the Watauga County Deputy who was killed in the line of duty.— DaShawn Brown (@DaShawnWSOC9) April 29, 2021
Investigators told us Deputy Logan Fox was shot — though we’re waiting for an update on his condition @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/BtzuAMTYkx
“This is an incredibly tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community,” Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman told the paper. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”
Deputies evacuated people from the homes nearby and other area residents were told to shelter in place, according to WBTV.
Maj. Lander announced shortly before 11 p.m. that the shooter appeared to have fatally shot himself, The News Herald reported.
His name has not been released.
Appalachian State University Police Chief Andy Stephenson confirmed on Thursday morning that Deputy Fox had also succumbed to his wounds, the Watauga Democrat reported.
Police have not released any information regarding the conditions of any citizens who may have been involved in the standoff, The News Herald reported.
Here’s another look at the memorial filled with candles & cards. “This is an incredibly tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community.” — Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman. @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/sKzh7RwQKS— Anthony Kustura (@AnthonyWSOC9) April 29, 2021
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