Two Watauga County (NC) Sheriff's deputies were shot and killed conducting a welfare check Wednesday morning. The shooting led to a 13-hour standoff that ended when law enforcement found three bodies in the home, including the suspect.
The sheriff's office confirmed a sergeant and a deputy with the Watauga County Sheriff's Office were shot and killed at a home in Boone. Sergeant Chris Ward died after being flown to Johnson City (TN) Medical Center, while Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene, WCNC reports.
According to authorities, the Watauga County Sheriff's Office went to the home at 9:44 a.m. because the homeowner and family were not responding to telephone calls and did not show up for work.
When arriving on the scene, deputies found all vehicles of those they were trying to contact parked at the residence. Once deputies went into the home, an unknown person fired shots toward the deputies, striking two of them.
Thursday morning brought new information: in addition to announcing the deaths of the two Watauga County deputies, the sheriff's office confirmed the other two victims who died were a husband and wife who lived at the home. The suspect was a son to one parent and a stepson to another.
Deputies report they knew the suspect, who was reportedly waiting for them and knew the deputies. Sheriff Len Hagaman told WCNC an officer from the Boone Police Department helped a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent get Sgt. Ward out of the house, but the suspect reportedly shot at any law enforcement officers that made an approach. Hagaman said a Boone officer was shot and the bullet hit his helmet, which protected the officer's head.
WSOC reports that law enforcement agencies from all over the state, including several SWAT teams, came to support the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, including: Appalachian State University’s Police, Avery County Sheriff’s Office, Beech Mountain Police, Blowing Rock Police, Boone Police, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Hickory Police, Morganton Public Safety, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, West Jefferson Police and Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.