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Death toll from NC shooting rises to five as second sheriff’s deputy dies after gunman opened fire

K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene, though his death wasn’t announced until Thursday

A second deputy is confirmed to have died after a man allegedly killed his mother and stepfather in North Carolina before then shooting at least two deputies who conducted a welfare check at the home.

The 32-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, then turned the gun on himself, The News Herald reports.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman revealed more details of the incident on Thursday morning, sharing that three deputies were dispatched to a home in Boone at 9:44am on Wednesday morning for a welfare check, unaware of the shooter in the home.

The deputies were dispatched after the homeowner and his family failed to report to work or answer calls. All of the vehicles were still on the property.

Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox, who were part of the initial dispatch were hit by gunfire upon entering the home, though a third deputy was uninjured.

Authorities confirmed late on Wednesday that Sgt. Chris Ward had died in an update around 9pm – nearly 10 hours after the standoff with police started.

Ward had been airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee where he succumbed to his injuries. 

The standoff last around 13 hours before coming to an end around 11pm. A neighbor was able to return to their home after being evacuated at around midnight, according to WSOC-TV.   

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Sgt. Chris Ward (pictured with family) was airlifted to a hospital, where he died Wednesday

Sgt. Chris Ward (pictured with family) was airlifted to a hospital, where he died Wednesday

‘I received some terrible news from Watauga County today. We’ve had a situation, at first we thought it was a teenager but through further reports, he was an older gentleman,’ North Carolina General Assembly state representative Ray Pickett said yesterday afternoon. 

Fox, meanwhile, remained inside the home throughout the lengthy standoff, despite having been shot. On Thursday, it was announced that Fox had died at the scene.

‘We shouldn’t have to go through this,’ Hagaman said after the standoff.

‘Once was devastating, but this is just unreal. It’s just — I can’t put it into words. The saving grace though is the community has come together in support, both mentally, physically, spiritually. And so, we certainly want to let the community know that we know they love us.’

A standoff in North Carolina has now resulted in five deaths after the death of another sheriff's deputy was announced on Thursday (tactical van pictured from Wednesday)

A standoff in North Carolina has now resulted in five deaths after the death of another sheriff’s deputy was announced on Thursday (tactical van pictured from Wednesday)

Among those killed are two sheriff's deputies, the gunman's mother and stepfather, and the 32-year-old gunman himself (scene pictured)

Among those killed are two sheriff’s deputies, the gunman’s mother and stepfather, and the 32-year-old gunman himself (scene pictured)

A SWAT team responding to the shooting was seen praying together

A SWAT team responding to the shooting was seen praying together

Hagaman believes the officers were ambushed by the suspect upon entering the home. 

A firefighter and two police officers attempted to rescue the injured deputies before coming under fire themselves.

One Boone police officer was even hit by gunfire, but the bullet ended up hitting his Kevlar helmet and he was not injured, according to the sheriff. 

There were periodic moments of gunfire mixed in with periods of ceasefires during the standoff. 

A police canine was also shot during the welfare check. Investigators found ‘a lot’ of firearms in the home, though the number has not been specified.

The sheriff hinted at the possibly of a bigger attack being planned by the suspect, but did not go into detail. 

No motive for the shooting has been given at this time. 

More than a dozen emergency vehicles were spotted responding to the scene of the shooting, including at least three ambulances and a medical chopper. 

State representative Ray Pickett announced in the state's legislature that a man killed his elderly mother and father before shooting at deputies who responded to conduct a welfare check

State representative Ray Pickett announced in the state’s legislature that a man killed his elderly mother and father before shooting at deputies who responded to conduct a welfare check

A heavy police response was seen at the scene were a man had shot at least two deputies after killing his parents

A heavy police response was seen at the scene were a man had shot at least two deputies after killing his parents

Armored vehicles are seen stationed near the home of a man who killed his elderly mother and father on Wednesday

The Watauga County Sheriff's Office previously said the shooter remains barricaded in a portion of the home

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office previously said the shooter remains barricaded in a portion of the home

Deputies had visited the home where the standoff took place over the weekend, but it’s not immediately clear why.   

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was filmed arriving at the scene.

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office for more information and additional comment.

After the standoff ended, a procession of law enforcement and EMS vehicles honored Ward around 1:30am on Thursday, according to WBTV

During the incident, the Mount Vernon Baptist Church parking lot was turned into a mobile command unit, prompting the lockdown of a school on the property.

‘We had to lock it down because we were just uncertain of the nature of the threat earlier on,’ Rev. Todd Houston told WSOC-TV. 

Neighbors who were not evacuated were told to shelter-in-place, closing up doors and windows.

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.’

Pictured: Memorials have sprung up for the officers who were killed on Wednesday

Pictured: Memorials have sprung up for the officers who were killed on Wednesday

Dozens of candles and flowers have been left outside the sheriff's office in a memorial

Dozens of candles and flowers have been left outside the sheriff’s office in a memorial

The makeshift memorial has been attracting mourners throughout Thursday

The makeshift memorial has been attracting mourners throughout Thursday

Pictured: A procession for Ward that took place around 1:30am on Thursday

Pictured: A procession for Ward that took place around 1:30am on Thursday

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.

On Thursday morning, a memorial began rising outside of the sheriff’s office to honor the deputies and civilians who were killed.

‘It’s hard. I know God’s got another angel,’ Donna Ward, a relative of Chris Ward, said to WSOC-TV at the memorial on Thursday morning. ‘A very loving family, loving. He would do anything for you.’

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was also on the scene at the memorial to help the community through the grieving process.

Governor Roy Cooper and Senator Thom Tillis are among those who have expressed condolences following the shooting.

‘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 tweeted in a Thursday morning statement.

‘Susan and I are heartbroken Sgt. Chris Ward with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty,’ Tillis tweeted late Wednesday night, before Fox’s death was announced.

‘A tragic reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day.’

Back the Blue NC started a GoFundMe to take care of Ward’s family, which has raised over $35,000 in just seven hours.

They’ve also raised over $24,000 for Fox’s family in six hours. 


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