A 13-hour standoff in North Carolina ended late Wednesday with five dead, including two deputies and the shooter.
Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene, and Sgt. Chris Ward died at Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said.
Two civilians whose names have not yet been released also died. The sheriff’s office said a Boone Police officer was also hit with gunfire during a rescue attempt but was uninjured.
“This is an incredibly tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community,” said Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”
The standoff unfolded in the Western North Carolina town of Boone, about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte.
Investigators say it began shortly before 10 a.m. when Watauga County sheriff’s deputies made a welfare check at 553 Hardaman Circle in Boone. An employer of the homeowner reported the person had not shown up for work and was not answering the phone.
“Deputies entered the residence after discovering all vehicles belonging to the residents were on the property. Upon entering the home, two Watauga County Sheriff’s deputies received gunshot wounds from an unknown individual within the residence,” the department said.
The shooter, who was barricaded inside the home, “periodically” fired toward deputies, officials said.
Residents in the Hardaman Circle area were told to stay in their homes with their doors and windows closed, Watauga County Emergency Services said. The residential street is about six miles from Appalachian State University. App State Police said there was no threat to the campus.
By 5 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said one of the deputies was still in the house with the shooter and the second had been flown to the hospital for treatment.
More than a dozen law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, including the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
The standoff ended shortly before 11 p.m.
Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement Thursday saying he had spoken with the sheriff.
“We grieve for Sgt. Chris Ward, K-9 Deputy Logan Fox and the entire Watauga County law enforcement community today after these tragic deaths in the line of duty,” Cooper said. “These horrific shootings that claimed lives and loved ones show the ever-present danger law enforcement can encounter in the line of duty.”
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican whose district includes Watauga County, also issued a statement.
“This is truly saddening news,” she said in a tweet just after 10 a.m. Thursday. “May God continue to bless the countless law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. We will never forget their service.”