“It’s not supposed to happen in our small town”: University, local community honors deputies killed in April 28 standoff

The+North+Carolina+Troopers+Association+Caisson+Unit+assisted+in+the+procession+on+Thursday+afternoon+for+Sgt.+Chris+Ward+and+K-9+Deputy+Logan+Fox.

Xanayra Marin-Lopez

The North Carolina Troopers Association Caisson Unit assisted in the procession on Thursday afternoon for Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox.

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Visual Managing Editor

App State students and community members came together on campus to honor Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox: the officers killed in a 13-hour standoff April 28.

Funeral services were held at Holmes Convocation center on Thursday. Before the services, a procession was held for the fallen officers on Rivers Street with the help of the North Carolina Troopers Association Caisson Unit. 

“Thank you for allowing us to have these two brave men protect the citizens of Watauga county,” Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said at the service. “Our heart goes out to you. Please accept these folks as heroes, that’s what they were, that’s what they are.”

Logan Fox, a Watauga High School graduate, started at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in 2019 as a K-9 Deputy with his partner, Raven, according to the Austin and Barnes Funeral Home. He previously was with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, where he was also a K-9 deputy with Raven. He is survived by his father Timothy Fox, his mother Maureen Fox, his sister Siena Fox and his girlfriend Anneliese Moody.

Chris Ward of Sugar Grove began his career with the Beech Mountain Police Department in 2013 and then joined the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department in 2018. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. 

Along Durham Park and Rivers Street, families, students and Watauga County residents, alone and in groups, stood and watched the procession.

Briana McClendon, a junior at App State, attended because, “I think it’s important for us to back the blue and just show our support for them.” 

For McClendon, honoring the officers was important because of her personal ties with police. One of her church counselors back home was the chief of police in Matthews, North Carolina for 30 years.

Student Justin Morgan also attended the procession from Durham Park, standing alone.

“I just thought it’d be good to honor the police officers,” Morgan said. “In today’s world right now, it’s a tough thing for them right now, so I thought to pay my respect and come out here.”

Yvonne Hardin, a Beech Mountain resident, came with two other friends, wearing shirts made by the Beech Mountain Police department reading, “In God We Trust, Back the Blue.” 

“We’re just sad about it, and our heart goes out to the families,” Hardin said. “It’s not supposed to happen in our small town.”

The services were streamed and can be replayed on AppTV

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is actively investigating the incident.