Deputy killed, another wounded in North Carolina standoff

Published 11:56 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2021

BOONE (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy has died and another has been wounded in a shooting that prompted a daylong standoff Wednesday that dragged into the night with law enforcement officers surrounding a home, authorities said.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that deputies were dispatched to home in Boone at 9:44 a.m. after the homeowner and his family didn’t report to work or answer telephone calls. The deputies entered the home and were fired upon, according to the news release.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said Sgt. Chris Ward died at a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was taken after being removed from the house. The second deputy, identified as K-9 Deputy Logan Fox, was still at the scene of the standoff in an unknown medical condition late Wednesday, Hagaman said.

The conditions of the other people in the house wasn’t known Wednesday night.

“This is an incredibly tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community,” Hagaman said. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”

The sheriff’s office said law enforcement officers have surrounded the home and residents in the vicinity of the standoff have been evacuated. The shooter remains active on the scene, the news release said.

Approximately 15 law-enforcement agencies, including the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the N.C. State Highway Patrol, responded to the standoff.

Clarence Wilson, 78, was on the porch of his home in Boone when sheriff’s deputies pulled up in front of the house across the street. Gunfire erupted after the deputies arrived, Wilson said.

“Then they told me to get back in the house and stay,” he said.

Wilson said he saw deputies pull a man from the house.

“I don’t know if it was a deputy or who it was,” he said. “I was just worried about keeping myself safe.”

Wilson said he heard a second barrage of gunfire around noon. Police remained on the scene more than four hours later, he said.

He said it’s a “real quiet neighborhood” with many retirees like himself.

“We ain’t used to all this,” he said.