WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — Two deputies were killed and three other people, including the suspected gunman, were found dead after a 13-hour standoff in Boone, the Watauga County sheriff said on Thursday.
Authorities said the two deputies died in the shooting that prompted a daylong standoff Wednesday that dragged into the night with law enforcement officers surrounding a home.
Channel 9′s Dave Faherty spoke with Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman Thursday morning and he said two deputies, as well as the suspect and the suspect’s mother and stepfather, had died.
When they went into the house, both Ward and Fox were hit by gunfire. Hagaman said the third responding deputy was able to escape unharmed.
Other officers were able to pull Ward out.
Hagaman said Ward died at a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was taken after being removed from the house. Fox was shot and remained in the home throughout the ensuing standoff, Hagaman said.
The sheriff confirmed on Thursday that Fox died at the scene.
Hagaman said a Boone police officer, a Boone firefighter and an App State police officer also came under fire as they tried to rescue the wounded deputies. The Boone police officer was hit by gunfire, but was not injured since the bullet hit his Kevlar helmet, the sheriff said.
Hagaman said that deputies had been to the home over the weekend but it was unclear why. On Wednesday, deputies were sent to the home to check on the suspect’s mother and stepfather, but Hagaman said they did not expect the shooter to be there.
“The individual suspected of killing the two officers is also suspected of killing two civilians in the residence,” the sheriff’s office said in a release. “The names of the civilians are not being released at this time.”
By Thursday morning, several law enforcement agencies across the Carolinas had posted tributes to the fallen deputies.