A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy has died and another deputy has been wounded in a shooting that prompted a continuing standoff.
Watauga County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Ward was dispatched to a home in Boone at 9:44 a.m. after the homeowner and his family didn’t report to work or answer telephone calls, his office said in a news release. He and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox entered the home and were hit by gunfire, the statement said.
Sheriff Len Hagaman said Ward died at a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was taken after being removed from the scene, while Fox remained inside the home, condition unknown, as the standoff continued.
The conditions of the other people in the house wasn't known Wednesday night.
“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. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”
The sheriff’s office said law enforcement officers have surrounded the home and residents in the vicinity of the standoff have been evacuated. The shooter remains active on the scene, the news release said.
Approximately 15 law-enforcement agencies, including the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the N.C. State Highway Patrol, responded to the standoff.
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Clarence Wilson, 78, was on his porch when 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 later 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.”
Wilson said he heard a second barrage of gunfire around noon as the house remained surrounded.
He said it’s a “real quiet neighborhood” with many retirees like himself.
“We ain’t used to all this,” he said.