Suspect identified in shooting that killed 4, including 2 deputies, in North Carolina standoff

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WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity of the suspect in a shooting that killed four people, including two deputies.

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.

Barnes, who was the son and stepson of Michelle and George Ligon, also died at the scene.

Ward was responding to a home off Hardaman Circle for a welfare check along with Fox at 9:44 a.m. Wednesday. They were trying to find someone who didn’t show up for work on Wednesday. Both were shot when they entered the home.

During an initial rescue attempt of the deputies, one Boone police officer was hit by gunfire. The Boone officer was protected by his ballistic helmet and was uninjured.

A standoff ensued and the suspect had reportedly been shooting at law enforcement into the night, ending 13 hours later.

“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 on Wednesday. “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.

The investigation is ongoing.

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