Watauga County community shocked after deputies killed in standoff situation

North Carolina

WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office put out a warning Wednesday, saying anyone who lives near Hardaman Circle should stay inside. They would later reveal they were involved in a standoff and someone inside the home shot two of their deputies.

People living in the area where the shooting took place say they are shocked and can’t believe something like this would happen in Boone.

A helicopter took Sergeant Chris Ward to Johnson City Medical Center, but he died from his injuries. The suspect shot another deputy, Logan Fox, who officials confirmed died at the scene.

Trish Kanipe, who works with the Boone chapter of ‘Adopt-a-Cop’, says she’s gone from heartbreak to anger ever since hearing the shots on Thursday morning.

Officers were seen blocking off Chapel Hills Road, they’ve been on the scene since Wednesday morning and people can’t believe the standoff went late into the night.

“I heard about it actually at work,” says Steven Shirley, as he was walking around downtown Boone. “A coworker came in and told me there had been a shootout.”

Many say they don’t know the couple who lives on Hardaman Circle or the shooter. However, those living close by say they have gone through every emotion.

“Heartbroken,” added Kanipe. “I live up by where it happened, so I heard the gun shots and immediately knew something was wrong.”

Representative Ray Pickett spoke about it at the North Carolina General Assembly.

“I received some terrible news from Watauga County today,” Pickett said. “At first we thought it was a teenager, but now we know it was an older gentleman. He killed his mother and father today. Deputies responded to a welfare check. He ambushed them.”

According to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, the family didn’t show up for work, and wasn’t responding to phone calls. The Watauga County Sheriff says when his deputies got to the house, the suspect shot them inside.

“Shocking information to hear,” says Shirley. “Just not at all what you would expect from this area.”

Others say as they get together and pray, they need to keep the other officers and their families in mind.

“These people have families,” says Kanipe. “They deserve to go home tonight. They put their life on the line for us and they don’t get to go home.”

Agencies from all across North Carolina pulled into the parking lot of Mount Vernon Baptist Church to help in any way they could.

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