‘Incredibly tragic situation’: Two deputies murdered in hours-long standoff

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WATAUGA COUNTY, NC – Two Watauga County deputies were among five people killed following a 13-hour standoff in North Carolina on Thursday morning.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were dispatched to a home in Boone after an employer reported an employee and his family failed to show up for work. Officers responded to the home around 9:45 a.m. to conduct a welfare check.

Deputies arrived and observed the family’s vehicles were parked on the property and decided to make entry into the home.

Watauga County K-9 Deputy Logan Fox and Sgt. Chris Ward were ambushed and shot as they entered the home.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said that attempts were made to rescue the injured deputies by a Boone police officer, a Boone firefighter, and an Appalachian State University police officer, but they were also fired on. The Boone officer was shot in the head, but a helmet saved his life.

Sgt. Ward was rescued and airlifted to a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he later died. The other deputy, Fox, was injured and taken hostage inside the home.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the gunman barricaded himself inside the home after the ambush with Deputy Fox.  The suspect fired several shots at officers during the hours of standoff that followed.

Hundreds of officers from across the region responded to assist with the standoff. Deputies evacuated some nearby homes and told others to shelter in place as the standoff dragged on.

Morganton Department of Public Safety Maj. Ryan Lander told the press just before 11 p.m. that the standoff had ended when it appeared the suspect had killed himself.

The unidentified suspect, along with his mother and father, were found dead.

Deputy Fox died from his injuries at the scene during the standoff.

Sheriff Hagaman called the situation tragic:

“This is an incredibly tragic situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community.

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

Donna Ward, a relative of Sgt. Ward, spoke to media at the make-shift memorial that grew outside the sheriff’s office later Thursday morning as she dropped off a flag and blue bow. She said the whole family was devastated by the loss:

“It’s hard. I know God’s got another angel. A very loving family, loving. He would do anything for you.”

Gloria Eggers, a nearby resident of the shooting location, said that her son-in-law was in law enforcement and that she was praying for everyone involved:

“Our world is in a bad situation right now and police officers have it really bad.”

Clarence Wilson was on his porch when deputies first arrived at the scene across the street from his home. He said that gunfire erupted:

“Then they told me to get back in the house and stay.”

He described seeing officers pulling a man from the home:

“I don’t know if it was a deputy or who it was. I was just worried about keeping myself safe.”

Law enforcement agencies from all over the state, including several SWAT teams, came to support the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, including: 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.

The identities of the shooter and his deceased family members have not been released by investigators.

Authorities plan to update the public on the incident later Thursday.

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Officer Down: Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed while trying to stop a man from taking his own life

February 2, 2021

 

KILN, MS – A Hancock Sheriff’s deputy was reportedly shot and killed on the afternoon of February 1st nearby the town of Kiln in Mississippi.

According to authorities, the sheriff’s deputy was allegedly shot by an armed suspect in a firefight when responding to a home 20 miles north of Kiln.

Very few details have been released regarding the incident that sheriff’s deputies responded to on the afternoon of February 1st.

What has been revealed is that the deceased sheriff’s deputy, identified as Lieutenant Michael Boutte, was shot allegedly by an armed suspect who had been threatening to shoot himself.

Following the shooting of the deputy, Lieutenant Boutte was reportedly airlifted to the University Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana – however, Lieutenant Boutte succumbed to his sustained injuries shortly after being airlifted.

A second deputy was said to have responded to the scene of the shooting, and non-fatally shot the suspect who allegedly shot Lieutenant Boutte.

The suspect in this case has not yet been identified, with the New Orleans ATF reportedly providing assistance to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office in the ongoing investigation.

The suspect was also reportedly airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment after the shooting. Details on the suspect’s condition have not been revealed as of this time.

Lieutenant Boutte was described as being an 8-year veteran of law enforcement and also a United States Air Force veteran as well. Lieutenant Boutte had also attended the United States Marine Corps Police Academy and served in the reserves in New Orleans.

During Lieutenant Boutte’s time with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, he was reportedly regarded as a leader among his peers and was also awarded the Life Saving Medal for saving a child’s life.

Further accolades regarding his contributions to the sheriff’s department included him organizing the National Crime Night Out and helping initiate the Silver Alert Database for the city of Diamondhead.

When speaking on the tragic loss of Lieutenant Boutte, Sheriff Ricky Adam stated the following:

“Mike was an incredible deputy and more so a fine person. He was a mentor to our younger deputies, and I know he will be greatly missed by his peers.”

“You never saw him without a smile or a positive attitude. I can’t begin to describe the heartbreak we are all experiencing right now. My thoughts, prayers and heart go out to his family and loved ones.”

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is also assisting with the ongoing investigation. 

This is a developing story.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insight into this developing case. 

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