Five dead following 13-hour gunfire standoff in North Carolina

Five people died, including two North Carolina sheriff’s deputies, after a check on a person who did not show up for work ended in gunfire and a 13-hour standoff on Wednesday, authorities said.

Watauga County Sheriff K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died at the scene in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone, and Sgt. Chris Ward died after being flown to a local hospital, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The deputies were shot after entering the home. They were responding to a call for a welfare check after the homeowner’s employer reported that the person did not show up for work and was not answering their phone, according to the statement.

A Boone Police Department officer was also struck by gunfire while attempting to rescue the downed deputies but his protective gear prevented injury, the statement said.

The unidentified shooting suspect and the suspect’s mother and stepfather are also dead, according to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman told reporters.

The investigation is being led by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The shooter had barricaded in the home and occasionally fired in the direction of law enforcement officers, according to the statement.

Nearby residents were evacuated.

More than a dozen law enforcement agencies responded.