Watauga County Standoff – 2 Police Officers Killed, 2 Civilians, 1 Shooter Dead

Boone, Watauga County, North Carolina: Five people are dead after a 13 hour Watauga County standoff. Sgt Chris Ward, and K9 Deputy Logan Fox were killed while conducting a welfare check at a residence. The civilians also killed were a stepfather and his wife, with the suspected shooter her son. Other personnel were shot at, one of which was saved only by his Kevlar helmet.

The incident transpired after an employer called police for a welfare check on one of his employees who did not show up for work. Police arrived at the residence at around 9:44 a.m.. They noted the cars belonging to the residents were still on the property and no one answered the door. They entered the home to check on the residents and were immediately fired upon. K9 Deputy Logan Fox died on scene and was trapped there for the duration of the incident. Other officers were able to pull Sgt Chris Ward out, and he was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, where he died. It began an hours long stand off that ended just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Officers surrounded the house as the suspect periodically fired at them. Watauga County Sheriff Lee Hagaman released a statement:

Hagaman said a Boone police officer, a Boone firefighter and an App State police officer also came under fire as they tried to rescue the wounded deputies. The Boone police officer was hit by gunfire, but was not injured since the bullet hit his Kevlar helmet, the sheriff said.

Hagaman said that deputies had been to the home over the weekend but it was unclear why.

“The individual suspected of killing the two officers is also suspected of killing two civilians in the residence,” the sheriff’s office said in a release. “The names of the civilians are not being released at this time.”


A person who knew the names of the deceased family reported that the civilian victims and suspect were: Michelle Ligon, her husband George Ligon, and the suspect Isaac Barnes, son of Michelle’s previous husband George Barnes.

As they went inside, they were met with bullets. As NC House Rep. Ray Pickett said, “The deputies were ambushed.”...

...The house was surrounded and two Boone police officers were fired upon when they attempted to rescue K-9 Deputy Fox. One officer was struck, but his Kevlar helmet saved his life. Officers had no idea who else was in the house, the number of assailants, or if there were people who may be injured or deceased in the house. Shots continued to be fired at law enforcement until the standoff ended at 10:15pm. Early this morning, local news reported “officers finally made a complete entry into the residence and found the shooter deceased from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound.”…

…Sergeant Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox gave their lives for the betterment of others.

A community is grieving today and officers should be applauded for their dedication, immeasurable sacrifice and commitment to keeping us safe. Jim Stout, a friend of Michelle and George, asked for prayers for the many families affected by this tragedy.


GoFundMe pages have been set up by Back The Blue for the families of Sgt Chris Ward and K9 Deputy Logan Fox.


Featured photo: Facebook post by Adrian Wood

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