Sgt. Chris Ward was identified as the North Carolina sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed by a suspect holed up in a house.
Senator Thom Tillis wrote on Twitter, “Susan and I are heartbroken Sgt. Chris Ward with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty. We are praying for his family, the officer wounded, and the community they served. A tragic reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day.”
A second deputy, Logan Fox, was injured and remained trapped inside the house on the evening of April 28, 2021, according to WBTV. His condition is not clear. This is a picture of Deputy Fox, who is a K-9 handler.
Tributes flowed on social media for the Ward, a married father.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Police Escort Unfolded in Ward’s Honor
A police escort formed for Sgt. Ward.
According to WSOC-TV, the deputies responded to the Hardaman Circle area in Boone around 9:45 a.m. on April 28, 2021, “after the homeowner and his family did not go to work and was not answering phone calls.”
Deputies were shot as they entered the home to do a welfare check, the television station reported. The shooter’s name and whether there are other victims is not clear. His motive isn’t either.
“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 to WSOC. “I greatly appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from law enforcement agencies across the region and the state.”
Journalist Cody Alcorn wrote on the evening of April 28, “As a stand-off continues in Boone, North Carolina, the Watauga County Sheriff confirms Sergeant Chris Ward died after being flown to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment. K-9 Deputy Logan Fox remains on the scene and his condition is unknown at this hour. The Sheriff didn’t have any update on who’s in the home or their conditions. It’s still an ongoing situation and the gunman continues to fire shots.” Alcorn added, “Just from my experience reporting on these type of situations, it appears Deputy Fox is possibly still in the home and his colleagues were unable to get him out when they were able to get Sergeant Ward pulled away from the gun fire. It’s an awful situation. It’s also unclear if the gunman’s family is still alive or if they have been shot too.”
Law enforcement agencies around the country offered tributes and condolences. The Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office tonight. One deputy, Sergeant Chris Ward has been killed and a second deputy, K-9 Logan Fox is still trapped and condition unknown. The situation is ongoing at this time. We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families, the community, and the Sheriff’s Office who will carry this tragic loss forever.”
People Remembered Ward as a ‘Great Man’
People wrote tributes to Ward on social media.
“He was such a great man. We will never forget…” wrote one. “Broken… he was a great police officer,” wrote another.
Ward’s Facebook page said he was married, studied at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, went to Watauga High, and was from Sugar Grove, North Carolina. He and his wife have children, according to his Facebook page.
He shared photos with the filter “a blue family” and tributes to other fallen officers. #hislifemattered read the caption on a photo of one fallen officer superimposed on the thin blue line flag. He posted tributes honoring William Mast, a deputy who was shot and killed while responding to a call in 2012: