Three Watauga County Sheriff’s officers conducting a welfare check at a house Wednesday were met by a barricaded gunman who kept “periodically firing” at them, killing one and leaving another “hanging on by a thread.”
The 13-hour standoff started when Police received a request for a wellness check at around 9:45 a.m. over an elderly couple that failed to show up for work.
Sgt. Chris Ward responded to the call along with two colleagues and observed the victims’ vehicles were still parked outside the home.
A gunman started shooting at the officers, fatally hitting Ward and seriously injuring Deputy Logan Fox who remained trapped inside the home.
Local news outlets reported that the gunman took his own life early Thursday morning but not before killing both of his parents.
“I received some terrible news from Watauga County today,” State Rep. Ray Pickett said while the standoff remained ongoing.
“We’ve had a situation, at first we thought it was a teenager but through further reports, he was an older gentleman.”
“He killed his mother and father today. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a welfare check. He ambushed them, shot three of them – killed one. A second one is holding on by a thread.”
Nearby residents were evacuated as well as a local school and bank. Other Police Departments joined the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office including SWAT teams and deputies.