Editor's note: This story is developing and will be updated as more information is available. The following information includes a timeline of events from April 28-29. The most recent information will be updated toward the top of the story.


April 29:

4:12 p.m.: The Watauga County Sheriff's Office revealed the individual suspected of killing Sgt. Chris Ward and Dep. Logan Fox was Isaac Alton Barnes, 32. Barnes is also believed to have killed Michelle Annette Ligon, 61, and George Wyatt Ligon, 58, both of 553 Hardaman Circle in Boone. Barnes, who was son and stepson of the deceased civilians, died at the scene.

3:03 p.m.: Deputy Logan Fox's K9 Raven was confirmed to be safe by WCSO Major Kelly Redmon. Redmon said Raven was brought along with Fox, but stayed in the car and was unharmed.

12:01 p.m.: Watauga County Sheriff's Office Deputy Logan Fox was hired as a part-time deputy at the Ashe County Sheriff's office on July 10, 2017, at the age of 21. He was promoted to full-time on Sept. 1, 2017, and "left in good standing" to go to the Watauga County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 30, 2019, according to ACSO public information officer Brian Blanco.

Ashe County Sheriff Phil Howell stated that while Fox worked as a deputy for the Ashe County Sheriff's Office for a little more than two years, he "will forever be a part of us."

"Even before the tragic events of yesterday we always counted Logan as family," Howell said. "There's a sticker he left on his old desk here with the name of his K-9 partner Raven and, just like Logan's memory, you can rest assured it's not going anywhere. Our deputies will make certain of that."

Howell added that it's impossible to estimate how many people Logan had helped while he was worked in Ashe County.

"The guy worked from the moment he checked into service until the moment he checked off-duty," Howell said. "That's just who Logan was, you couldn't slow him down. If he was on-duty our guys never really had to call for back-up; they just always knew Logan was on his way."

10:23 a.m.: N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted, "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. These horrific shootings that claimed lives and loved ones show the ever-present danger law enforcement can encounter in the line of duty. I have talked with Sheriff Len Hagaman to offer condolences and additional assistance."

10 a.m.: The Watauga County Sheriff's Office confirmed the individual suspected of killing the two officers is also suspected of killing two civilians in the residence. The names of the civilians are not being released at this time.

During an initial rescue attempt of the WCSO officers, a Boone Police officer was hit by gunfire, but was uninjured due to his protective equipment.

The investigation is ongoing, and is being led by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

A GoFundMe was set up in support of Sergeant Chris Ward's family by Back the Blue NC and can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/benefit-for-family-of-sgt-chris-ward?qid=3015a9d7cd27d12bc8abbbac90d51774&utm_campaign=p_cp_url&utm_medium=os&utm_source=customer

7:34 a.m.: App State Police Chief Andy Stephenson confirmed the standoff ended at approximately 10:15 p.m. April 28 after almost 13 hours.

Stephenson said K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died. He confirmed the suspect is deceased as well. No further information has been released at this time.


April 28:

9 p.m.: The Watauga County Sheriff's Office confirmed the names of the two officers who received gunshot wounds at the beginning of the situation. Sergeant Chris Ward died after being flown to Johnson City Medical Center, while K-9 Deputy Logan Fox remains on the scene. His condition is unknown at the time.

The names and conditions of any civilians are also unknown at this time, according to law enforcement.

“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. “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 include: 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 shooter remains active on scene, barricaded in a section of the home. The shooter periodically fires the weapon in the direction of officers.

Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott sent out an email asking for people to be respectful and supportive of the officers involved and their families.

"The situation is still unfolding and I am sure we will all learn more in the hours, days and weeks ahead," Elliott stated. "One way we can be supportive of those involved is for us to be respectful and discrete with the information we share with others (including on social media). As always happens in crisis situations, a lot of misinformation can be spread very quickly. Please respect our law enforcement and emergency services professionals by only sharing official information shared through official sources."

8:24 p.m.: The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, including four chaplains and a Mobile Ministry Center, had been sent to support law enforcement.

5:15 p.m.: According to the Watauga High School Booster Club, the Pioneers softball team are playing their game against Alexander Center in honor of local law enforcement. The two teams held a moment of silence and prayed together before the game.

4 p.m.: The Watauga County Sheriff's Office gave the following statement: On April 28 at 9:44 a.m., the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for a welfare check at 553 Hardaman Circle in Boone because the homeowner and his family did not attend 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, deputies received gunfire from an unknown individual within the residence. Two deputies received gunshot wounds. One deputy was extracted from the location and has been flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment. The other deputy remains on the scene. The condition of the deputy on scene remains unknown at this time.

The shooter remains active on scene, barricaded in a section of the home. The shooter periodically fires the weapon in the direction of officers.

Law enforcement currently has the home surrounded and has evacuated nearby residents.

3:54 p.m.: Major Kelly Redmond of the Watauga County Sheriff's Office confirmed two law enforcement officers have been injured in the situation, which is still active.

3:50 p.m.: Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R–District 5) tweeted out around 3:50 p.m that her prayers were with the entire Watauga County's Sheriff Department. 

"These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect us, and they deserve our profound gratitude every day," Foxx tweeted. 

Rep. Ray Pickett (R–Blowing Rock) and Sen. Deanna Ballard (R–Watauga) also gave statements. Ballard stated on Twitter that her thoughts were with the law enforcement and families involved. Pickett also said his thoughts and prayers were with the sheriff's department and their families. 

3:31 p.m.: The Elkin Fire Department posted the following message to social media: "Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters of the Watauga County Sheriff's Office. #onefamily."

3:17 p.m.: The Hickory Police Department, Wilkes County Sheriff's Office, Catawba Emergency Services, Caldwell County SWAT, the U.S. Marshals Service and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation could be seen on scene.

1:20 p.m.: A helicopter is on scene. N.C. State Highway Patrol, Watauga County Sheriff's Office and Blowing Rock Police could be seen on scene.

1 p.m.: Boone Police tweeted at 1 p.m. that the department is assisting the Watauga County's Sheriff's Office in the Brown's Chapel area of Watauga County with an ongoing stand-off. 

12:52 p.m.: Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell posted on Facebook at 12:52 p.m. that if people could "take 30 seconds right where you stand, pray for Watauga County Sheriff's Office, Ashe Sheriff's Office and all responding (law enforcement officers), medics and fire. We need every single one."

12:30 p.m.: Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell said the Ashe County Sheriff's Office is assisting with the situation and sent a specialized recovery vehicle to the scene as support. Rob Hudspeth, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System's senior vice president for system advancement, said Watauga Medical Center has the Emergency Preparedness Protocol in place if needed.

12:15 p.m.: At the recommendation of the Watauga County Sheriff's Office out of an "abundance of caution," Mountain Pathways Montessori School — located on Howard's Creek Road — is on a school-wide soft lockdown, according to Pathways Director Lindsey Holderfield. Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott said based on what he has been told, they believe there is no direct threat to schools. He said WCS students are not in school today, but there are some school activities.

A soft lockdown is when all children and staff are inside the buildings, will stay away from doors and window, and all exterior doors and windows are locked. Holderfield said in the email that children are not notified of the cause and continue their day normally inside. 

11:43 a.m.: Watauga Rescue were dispatched to the scene at Browns Chapel Road for "staging" around 11:43 a.m. 

11:30 a.m.: App State Police Chief Andy Stephenson said his department had personnel assisting the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

11:25 a.m.: A law enforcement-related situation is currently taking place in the area of Browns Chapel Road and Hardaman Circle. The public is warned to stay away, according to Watauga County Communications telecommunicator Melissa Harmon. According to scanner traffic, off duty personnel were advised to respond to their stations. Scanner traffic also indicated that landing zones were being set up in the area. 

11:19 a.m.: Watauga County Emergency Services posted to social media that all residents in the area of Hardaman Circle area should shelter in place and "remain in your home with doors and windows closed."

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(2) comments

guest2

Sign of the times when we have to be reminded to be respectful,towards other humans,especially ones that may have perished,simply while at work....Thoughts and prayers for all involved.

Slinkysue43

Prayers for all involved🙏🙏🙏💙💙

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