WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A procession, starting in Winston Salem and ending in Boone, brought the bodies of two deputies who were killed in the Watauga County mass shooting to a funeral home Friday afternoon.
Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Ward, 36, and K-9 deputy Logan Fox, 25, were killed in the shooting.
Just before 3 p.m., the procession for the deputies arrived in Boone to streets filled with community members showing their support.
Around 2:30 p.m., the procession travelled near Deep Gap, N.C. Community members stood on overpasses with American flags and saluted as it passed.
The procession began around 1 p.m. We will have coverage from Winston Salem, Deep Gap and Boone, North Carolina, where Ward and Fox are expected to arrive at a funeral home.
A procession for Fox was held Friday morning in Boone. We’re told Fox’s body was transported from Boone to a hospital in Winston Salem for an autopsy.
Deputies say 32-year-old Isaac Alton Barnes is suspected of killing the deputies, along with his mother and stepfather, 61-year-old Michelle Annette Ligon and 58-year-old George Wyatt Ligon.
The hours-long standoff started when deputies responded to a welfare check at a home on Hardaman Circle in Boone. The homeowner and his family apparently did not show up to work or respond to phone calls. A person inside the home started shooting after deputies entered, officials say.
The sheriff’s office confirmed Thursday morning that Fox had died at the scene on Wednesday. Ward died from his gunshot wounds after he was taken to Johnson City (Tenn.) Medical Center. A third officer with the Boone Police Department was also struck by gunfire, but was uninjured due to his protective equipment, officials said.
Fox is 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.” Prior to working at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time deputy, he served as full-time deputy with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office.
Ward is an eight-year veteran in the field of law enforcement. He married his high school sweetheart and is a father of two, ages 19 and 5. He began his career at the Beech Mountain Police Department in 2013, later moving on to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
On Thursday, a memorial began growing outside of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office as condolences poured in. Dozens of candles and flowers were placed outside the sheriff’s office.