A gunman who killed his mother, stepfather, two sheriff’s deputies and died at the scene of a shooting also attacked his father with a knife days before Wednesday’s shooting in Boone, North Carolina, according to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman. In interviews late Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Hagaman said the shooter’s father reported his 32-year-old son, Isaac Alton Barnes, first to Avery County Sheriff’s County on Sunday and then called Watauga authorities after being referred to that department when the meeting took place within county boundaries. in the town of Matney. He accused his son of pulling out a bowie knife and trying to harm him. Click on the video player above to see the latest headlines from WXII 1
A gunman who killed his mother, stepfather, two sheriff’s deputies and died at the scene of a shooting game also attacked his father with a knife days before Wednesday’s shooting in Boone, North Carolina, according to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.
In interviews late Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Hagaman said the shooter’s father reported his 32-year-old son, Isaac Alton Barnes, first to Avery County Sheriff’s County on Sunday and then called the Watauga authorities after being referred to that department since the meeting took place within county boundaries in the town of Matney. He accused his son of pulling out a bowie knife and trying to harm him.
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The father, Joseph Barnes, tried to decide whether Isaac should be arrested for the alleged assault or pursued an involuntary obligation. The father then went to a judge, but decided not to pursue the involuntary obligation, according to the sheriff. Joseph Barnes did not immediately respond to a phone call and a text message seeking comment.
Hagaman said that before mother and stepfather were killed, they had contacted his office on Monday out of concern for their son.
Family members warned the county sheriff’s office that the son is experiencing a mental breakdown and could be dangerous if contacted.
Meanwhile, Watauga County envoys warned officers Sunday and Monday to be on the lookout for Isaac, who had fled to the woods along Avery and the Watauga County border after allegedly attacking his father.
“They were trying to find Mr. Barnes, who was essentially in the woods somewhere,” Hagaman said. “Camping is not the right word, but he hid in the woods or stayed in the woods. No one knew exactly where he was. When the report came from the father about the allegation of swinging a weapon, we decided, ‘Well, if he’s in the woods, maybe wait him out and see if he comes out.’ But he never did. The follow-up to that was what led to our deadly encounter with him. ”
When Barnes’ mother and stepfather, Michelle and George Wyatt Ligon, did not show up for work or answer calls on Wednesday, Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 deputy Logan Fox were sent to 553 Hardaman Circle at 6 p.m. 9.44 to perform a welfare check. Upon arrival, the two cars outside the home belonging to the family saw and suspected the couple was inside. After knocking on the door and entering the house, they were greeted by an unexpected visitor.
“They went from the main plane downstairs. That was when Mr. The children shot the officers, ”Hagaman said.
After backup forces arrived, a diversion was set up and a small rescue squad pulled Ward out of the house. A Boone police officer was hit by gunfire during an initial rescue attempt by the deputies, but was not injured thanks to a ballistic helmet.
Ward got into a helicopter and was flown to a Johnson City hospital, where he later died. He was 36 years old.
Fox, 25, died on the spot and was in the house for the entire 13-hour standoff.
Hagaman said Barnes fired shots from several parts of the house, but when the shot stopped for about 30 minutes, authorities sent a robot showing someone lying on a bed, even though they did not know who it was. After inserting tear gas and not seeing any movement from inside the house, law enforcement officials entered the building.
Around. 23 Michelle and George Wyatt Ligon were found dead, although the time and date they were killed is unclear. They were 61 and 58 years old, respectively.
Authorities said earlier that Barnes appeared to be dead by killing himself, but this has not yet been confirmed, according to Hagaman.
“Because it is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to share specific details beyond what has already been shared at this time,” said a statement from Angie Grube, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
A public service will be held for the fallen deputies at. 15 Thursday at the Appalachian State University Holmes Convocation Center in Boone, according to Carolyn Austin, co-owner of Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. Doors open for public seating at 13, and participants must wear a face mask.
A pair of fundraisers set up by a pro-law enforcement organization in North Carolina on Thursday to support the families of Ward and Fox have generated over $ 180,000. It is the largest fundraising drive Back the Blue NC has started since it was formed in July 2020.
Gadi Adelman, a spokesman for the group, said the shooting in Boone should serve as a reminder of how dangerous even a routine welfare check can be.
“The majority of the police in the United States right now are men and women who care about their communities and put their lives on the line every day for those communities, like what we just saw was a simple welfare check. and not being able to go to their family at the end of the day, ”Adelman said.
Despite the tragedy, Hagaman suspects the death toll could have been much higher and affected the wider public.
He said Barnes did not leave a note at the scene of the crime, but knows from the shooter’s family members that the shooter owned a “large cache” of weapons that may have been intended for mass shooting.
“The blessing of the two officers’ deaths was that he (Barnes) was confined, albeit with four victims, and not out in the neighborhood or anywhere else,” Hagaman said.