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By The Associated Press

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Suspect apparently kills himself after being barricaded in home.

BOONE, N.C. — Two North Carolina sheriff’s deputies reportedly were killed in a shooting that prompted a standoff. The suspect apparently killed himself hours later.

Another officer was shot in the head, but their life was saved because they wore a Kevlar helmet, according to reporter Rose Eiklor.

Watauga County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox were dispatched to a home in Boone at 9:44 a.m. Wednesday after the homeowner and his family didn’t report to work or answer telephone calls, the sheriff’s office said. They were hit by gunfire after entering the home, and while Ward was “extracted from the scene,” Fox remained inside, the statement said.

Morganton Department of Public Safety Maj. Ryan Lander told The News Herald just before 11 p.m. that the suspect appeared to have killed himself, the newspaper reported.

Sheriff Len Hagaman said Ward died at a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. Fox also has died, according to reporter Hunter Saenz, citing the sheriff.

“This is an incredibly tragic situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved as well as their families and our community,” Hagaman said. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”

The sheriff’s office said officers from about 15 law enforcement agencies surrounded the home. Other people living nearby were evacuated or told to shelter in place as the standoff lasted throughout the day and Wednesday night.

Clarence Wilson, 78, was on his porch when deputies pulled up in front of the house across the street. Gunfire erupted after the deputies arrived, Wilson said.

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

“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.”

– Sheriff Len Hagaman

Wilson said he later saw deputies pull a man from the house.

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

Wilson said he heard a second barrage of gunfire about noon as the house remained surrounded.

He said it’s a “real quiet neighborhood” with many retirees such as himself.

“We ain’t used to all this,” he said.

Rich Barak of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.


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