A standoff between law enforcement and an individual at 553 Hardaman Circle in Boone, North Carolina ended shortly before 11 p.m. on April 28.
On April 28 at 9:44 a.m., Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for a welfare check at the home when the homeowner’s employer called to report the homeowner did not report to work or respond to telephone calls.
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.
K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene. Sgt. Chris Ward died after being flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment.
Deputy Logan Fox, 25, is a two-year veteran of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. He was a K-9 officer who handled Watauga County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Raven.” Prior to working at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time deputy, he served as full-time deputy with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Fox’s true passion was serving as a K-9 Officer.
Sgt. Chris Ward, 36, is an eight-year veteran in the field of law enforcement. He married his high school sweetheart and is a father of two, ages 19 and 5. He began his career at the Beech Mountain Police Department in 2013, later moving on to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
The individual suspected of killing the two officers, Isaac Alton Barnes, 32, is also suspected of killing Michelle Annette Ligon, 61, and George Wyatt Ligon, 58, both of 553 Hardaman Circle in Boone. Barnes, who is the son and stepson of the deceased civilians, died at the scene.
During an initial rescue attempt of the deputies, one Boone Police Officer was hit by gunfire. The Boone Officer was protected by his ballistic helmet and uninjured. Watauga County’s Rescue Task Force, comprised of the Boone Police Department, Appalachian State Police Department, Boone Fire Department, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, responded to the scene in this rescue attempt.
“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 on April 28. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”
Law enforcement agencies supporting the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department at the scene included: 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.
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by a large number of Emergency Management Departments, Fire Departments, Emergency Medical Services, and Rescue Squads from the surrounding area. Samaritans Purse, Billy Graham Ministries and several area churches, including Mount Vernon Baptist Church, were also instrumental in supporting operations related to this incident.
The investigation is ongoing, and is being led by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. All future media requests should be made to [email protected].