The Hickory Police Department was one of the many law enforcement agencies that responded to a deadly standoff in Boone on Wednesday.
Chief Thurman Whisnant said he, Maj. Reed Baer and 14 other officers went to Boone after receiving a call to assist. The personnel from Hickory included officers of the Special Operations Team and two embedded tactical medics from Catawba County EMS.
“I mean obviously, when we got there it was just … a chaotic situation as you would expect,” Whisnant said. “There was a lot of agencies there providing support to an agency that was going through a tragedy in a crisis situation. We were glad to help out in any way we could.”
He added: “We’re still here to help with anything that they need. Can’t imagine what a tough time they’re going through right now.”
Chief Deputy Brian Kelly said the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office did not send any personnel to Boone Wednesday but that they are on standby to assist if the agencies in Watauga County need any help going forward.
Kelly added that the deaths of the officer and the impact of those deaths on families and colleagues is something that resonates with all law enforcement officers.
What started out as a welfare check Wednesday morning developed into a day-long standoff that ended with five deaths.
Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office were shot and killed, according to the Associated Press. Three others, including the suspected gunman, also died.
Initial reporting from the AP and other outlets indicated the suspected gunman killed two other people in the house and later took his own life.
Kevin Griffin is the city of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.