UPDATE: Two officers, suspected gunman among five dead following lengthy standoff

UPDATE%3A+Two+officers%2C+suspected+gunman+among+five+dead+following+lengthy+standoff

Jake Markland, Associate News Editor

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check at a local residence at 9:44 a.m. Wednesday. A standoff with law enforcement that lasted all-day ended Wednesday night. Five people have been reported dead among them two deputies. 

Update at 9:50 a.m. on April 29: 

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office announced that Logan Fox, the K-9 deputy who was shot yesterday, died at the scene. A Boone Police officer was also shot but was not injured because of his protective equipment. 

The shooter is suspected of killing two civilians in the residence and hitting three police officers, killing two. The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office have not released civilian names. 

The suspected gunman is also dead, according to the Associated Press

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading an ongoing investigation. 

UPDATE at 12:20 a.m. on April 29:

A large vehicle procession traveled down King Street early Thursday morning, paying respect to the officers involved in today’s situation. Sgt. Chris Ward, who was shot and killed Wednesday, was escorted back into Boone through the procession.

The procession, which lasted several minutes and consisted of law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency responders, follows the official announcement that two Watauga County officers were shot.

Nearly 50 people gathered at the intersection of King and College streets at 1 a.m., among them App State police officers and cadets, students and community members, to pay tribute to officers involved in Wednesday’s standoff.

UPDATE at 9 p.m. on April 28: 

Sgt. Chris Ward of Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, who was flown to Johnson City Medical Center after being shot at the scene, died after the flight, according to an App State press release. 

Logan Fox, K-9 deputy for Watauga County Sheriff’s Office who was also shot, remains on the scene. His condition is unknown. 

“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 an App State press release. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”

The shooter remains on the scene and has barricaded themselves within a section of the home. The shooter has been periodically shooting in the direction of officers who continue to surround the residence. 

Any civilian involvement is unknown at this time. 

Law enforcement has evacuated all nearby residents. Authorities are still advising that residents near Hardaman Circle and Bamboo Road remain indoors. 

Many agencies from the local area and the state came to assist the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office at the scene, according to an App State press release. They are: Appalachian State University’s Police, Avery County Sheriff’s Office, Beech Mountain Police, Blowing Rock Police, Boone Police, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Hickory Police, Morganton Public Safety, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, West Jefferson Police and Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATE at 4 p.m. on April 28: 

Watauga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a wellness check at 553 Hardaman Circle at 9:44 a.m. on Wednesday.

When entering the residence, deputies received gunfire from an unknown individual, and two deputies were shot. One deputy was flown to Johnson City Medical Center. The other deputy remains at the scene, and their condition is unknown. 

The shooter remains active inside of the home, periodically shooting in the direction of officers surrounding the building. 

Law enforcement have evacuated nearby residents. 

UPDATE at 1 p.m. on April 28: 

Watauga County Emergency Services advised all residents in the Hardaman Circle and Bamboo Road areas to remain inside with doors and windows locked Wednesday afternoon. Law enforcement is on the scene in the area.

The Boone Police Department said on Twitter they are assisting the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in an “ongoing stand-off” in the Brown’s Chapel area.

The Appalachian contacted the Boone Police Department, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the Appalachian Police Department. None were available for comment.

This story was last updated at 10:55 a.m. on April 29 and is developing. It will be updated when more information is available.