An hours-long standoff in North Carolina leaves five dead, including two sheriff's deputies

Five people are dead, including two North Carolina sheriff's deputies, after a check on a person who did not show up for work ended in gunfire and a 13-hour...

Posted: Apr 29, 2021 12:04 PM
Updated: Apr 29, 2021 5:15 PM

Five people are dead, including two North Carolina sheriff's deputies, after a check on a person who did not show up for work ended in gunfire and a 13-hour standoff, authorities said.

The sheriff's deputies were ambushed and fatally wounded heading down to the basement of the home, Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman told reporters Thursday.

The sheriff's office had been alerted Sunday that the unidentified suspect who killed the deputies as well as his mother and stepfather before taking his own life 'might be a problem,' Hagaman said.

K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone, and Sgt. Chris Ward died after being flown to a local hospital, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The suspect was identified as Alton Barnes, 32, who authorities said also killed the residents of the home -- Michelle Annette Ligon and George Wyatt Ligon.

Hagaman said 'concerned folks' who knew the suspect had alerted the sheriff's office but deputies did not 'encounter him where we thought he would be.' The deputies on Wednesday did not think the suspect was home, according to the sheriff.

Deputies had looked for the suspect over the weekend to try to 'get him away from someplace so we could have some more control over him,' Hagaman said.

The deputies were responding to a call for a wellness check Wednesday after the homeowner's employer reported that the person did not show up for work and was not answering their phone, according to the statement.

A Boone Police Department officer was also struck by gunfire while attempting to rescue the downed deputies but his protective helmet prevented injury, the statement said.

A female deputy was able to safely retreat from the house, according to Hagaman.

Gov. Roy Cooper, in a statement, said he had spoken with Hagaman to offer condolences and assistance.

'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 said. 'These horrific shootings that claimed lives and loved ones show the ever-present danger law enforcement can encounter in the line of duty.'

Fox was a two-year veteran; Ward was an eight-year veteran who was married to his high school sweetheart and was the father of two, according to the sheriff's office.

The standoff ended shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office said.

'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 in a statement.

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

The shooter had barricaded in the home and occasionally fired in the direction of law enforcement officers, according to the statement.

Nearby residents were evacuated.

More than a dozen law enforcement agencies responded.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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