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UPDATE: 2:35 a.m. Jan. 16

FLEETWOOD — Ashe County Sheriff Phil Howell confirmed that an eight-hour standoff between a man in a camper and law enforcement ended with the death of the suspect in the early hours of Thursday morning.

"I don't know exactly how the call originated, but once our officers got on the scene, the suspect did start shooting at officers," Howell said.

Howell did not immediately release the name of the deceased man.

A section of U.S. 221 stretching from Water Tank Road to Vernon Roten Road had been closed due to the standoff with law enforcement in the area. U.S. 221 reopened shortly after the standoff ended.

Multiple agencies in Ashe County and surrounding areas were dispatched to the road closure and the standoff incident, including the Ashe County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Watauga County Sheriff's Office and multiple fire departments. They included a bomb squad from Wilkes County.

Scanner traffic indicated that residents of multiple homes in the surrounding area were evacuated by officials.


9:05 p.m.

FLEETWOOD — A section of U.S. 221 stretching from Water Tank Road to Veron Roten Road has been closed due to a standoff with law enforcement in the area.

Multiple agencies in Ashe County are involved between the road closure and the standoff incident, including the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Watauga County Sheriff's Office, ACSO and multiple fire departments.

According to Watauga Sheriff Len Hagaman, the Watauga County Special Response Team — made up of the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, Boone Police and Appalachian State University Police — is standing by. Hagaman said the team has multiple Watauga and Boone Police Department K-9s, an App State Police drone and paramedic and EMS tactical medical members. A bomb squad from Wilkes County has also been dispatched.

Hagaman advised that the incident was under the command of Ashe County Sheriff Phil Howell.


This story is developing. Visit wataugademocrat.com or ashepostandtimes.com for updates.

Kayla Lasure and Anna Oakes contributed reporting to this story.

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