WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — Investigators are working to piece together what led to a deadly standoff at a Watauga County home.
The Watauga County Sheriff’s office said Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox were dispatched to a home in Boone at 9:44 a.m. Wednesday after the homeowner and his family didn’t report to work or answer telephone calls.
Both deputies were hit by gunfire when they entered the home.
Other officers were able to pull out Ward, who later died at a hospital. Fox died at the scene.
A Boone Police officer also was hit by gunfire during an initial attempt to rescue the deputies, but he was uninjured due to his protective equipment, the statement said.
The suspect had reportedly been shooting at law enforcement into the night.
Law enforcement officials said the suspect is dead. It is unclear how the suspect died.
Police said the suspect’s parents also died.
Thursday morning, the fallen sergeant’s second cousin Donna Ward paid her respects at a growing memorial of candles and flowers. She says they come from a law enforcement family, and this loss is devastating.
“Just heartbreak,” she said. “I told her I pray for them each and every day. I’m on my knees each and every day praying for these people. I pray for everybody, but these officers, they have a tough job. I mean, they’re out here to serve and protect, and people just don’t get it, they don’t.”