Victims identified in North Carolina standoff that left 5 people dead, including 2 deputies

Southeast

BOONE, N.C. (NewsNation Now) — North Carolina deputies released the names of the victims and suspect killed in a 13-hour-long standoff that left five people dead Thursday.

Isaac Alton Barnes, 32, is suspected of killing K-9 Deputy Logan Fox, 25, Sgt. Chris Ward, 36, Michelle Annette Ligon, 61, and George Wyatt Ligon, 58.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s office said Ward and Fox were dispatched to a home in Boone at 9:44 a.m. Thursday for a welfare check after a resident of the home did not show up for work. Once the deputies arrived, they were both hit by gunfire.

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, police said.

A 13-hour-long standoff ensued with the suspect shooting at law enforcement into the night, ending when Barnes was found dead.

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said Michelle Annette Ligon and George Wyatt Ligon were found dead at the scene. It is unknown when they died.. Barnes was the son and stepson of Michelle and George Ligon.

“I just started feeling very concerned and worried about, and then we heard an officer was shot,” said Bonnie Burton, a neighbor. “We heard he was airlifted, and we heard he had passed. And the officer being held in the house, and it just kept compounding the worry for the people who were affected and we certainly prayed for them and we still do.”

Winston-Salem police helped Watauga County deputies escort Fox’s body to Wake Forest Baptist Health Friday morning. The Watauga County deputies escorted Ward’s body Thursday afternoon.

“This is an incredibly tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community,” said Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman in a statement Thursday. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”

Fox was a two-year veteran of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. He was a K-9 officer who handled Watauga County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Raven.”

Ward was an eight-year veteran in the field of law enforcement. He married his high school sweetheart and was a father of two, ages 19 and 5, NewsNation WGHP reported.

The investigation is ongoing.

NewsNation affiliate WGHP contributed to this report.

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