Two deputies were killed, and three other people, including the gunman, lost their lives at a home in Boone, Watauga County, North Carolina, on Wednesday, April 28. The shooting of the deputies sparked a 13-hour standoff between the gunman and law enforcement officers.
On Wednesday, the deputies, identified as Chris Ward and Logan Fox, along with one other deputy arrived at a resident’s home on Hardaman Circle at 9:44 a.m in response to a concerned caller, as neither the homeowner nor his family members had arrived at work or answered the phone.
They decided to check the inside of the house as vehicles could be seen on the property. As they entered, Ward and Fox were attacked by gunfire while the other deputy luckily escaped any bullets, Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said.
Hagaman stated to WSOC-TV reporter Dave Faherty on Thursday that the shooter killed his 61-year-old mother, Michelle Ligon, and 58-year-old stepfather, George Ligon, before taking his own life.
The dead suspect was later confirmed as 32-year-old Isaac Alton Barnes.
Hagaman added that there were three other injured officials in the incident, including a Boone police officer, a Boone firefighter, and an App State police officer.
Ward was successfully pulled out of the house while Fox remained inside throughout a subsequent standoff with law enforcement officers surrounded the property. Following the violence, residents in the Hardaman Circle area, about 115 miles northwest of Charlotte were instructed to remain inside.
According to officials, Ward was flown to a local hospital where he passed away, whereas deputy Fox passed away at the scene.
“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 in a statement.
The deputies had already visited the property the previous weekend; they went back to check on the suspect’s mother and stepfather the day of the incident and were fired on by the suspect, according to WSOC-TV.
Hagaman recalled that the deputies did not anticipate an armed individual inside the house when they conducted the welfare check. Meanwhile, when asked if the call that summoned the deputies to the house was a deliberate plan, the sheriff agreed to the possibility.
“You know, he was waiting for the officers. We had had an issue with him over the weekend,” he told the outlet as he agreed with Faherty that the deputies might have been ambushed.
Gov. Roy Cooper of North California posted his condolences for the loss of the two deputies later on Thursday on Twitter.
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) April 29, 2021