Multiple Police Officers Killed During 13-Hour Standoff


A 13-hour standoff in Boone, North Carolina, ended in tragedy as five people, including two police officers, died during the Wednesday standoff.

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Ward died after being airlifted to a Tennessee hospital and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene, according to the Hickory Daily Record.

Both officers were hit by gunfire during the standoff.

The two deputies responded to a welfare check at a Watauga County home around 9:45 a.m. after the homeowner and his family did not show up for work or answer phone calls.

Cars belonging to the family were parked outside and once deputies entered the home, someone started to shoot at them.

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Multiple law enforcement agencies from around western North Carolina stepped in to help.

The suspected shooter barricaded himself in the home and would periodically fire a gun in the direction of responding officers.

Residents in the neighborhood were ordered to stay inside their homes and lock their doors and windows, WCNC-TV reported.

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The standoff reportedly ended when the suspect died by suicide, according to The News Herald.

Three people, including the suspected gunman, were found dead inside the home around midnight, NBC News reported.

“The individual suspected of killing the two officers is also suspected of killing two civilians in the residence,” the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office told WCNC Thursday morning the other two victims were a husband and wife who lived at the home.

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The suspect is said to be a son to one parent and a stepson to another, but the familial relationship is unclear.

A memorial of candles and flowers was set up outside the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in honor of the fallen officers.

Following the standoff, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team in Charlotte was sent to the area. The team is a group of “crisis-trained BG-RRT chaplains deploy to provide emotional and spiritual care to those affected by man-made or natural disasters.”

“A team of four chaplains headed to Boone, along with a Mobile Ministry Center, which offers a safe space for people to talk and pray,” WBTV-TV reported.

“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 CNN.

“I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith