An attacker who killed his mother, stepfather, two sheriff’s deputies and died at the scene of the shooting also attacked his father with a knife days before Wednesday’s shooting in Boone, North Carolina, according to Wattau 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 Office and then to Watauga authorities after being sent to this department, as the meeting took place within the boundaries of the county in the town of Matney. He accused his son of pulling out Bowie’s knife and trying to harm him. Click on the video player above to watch the latest headlines from WXII 1
An assailant who killed his mother, stepfather, two deputy sheriffs and died at the scene of the shooting also attacked his father with a knife days before Wednesday’s shooting in Boone, North Carolina, according to Wattau 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 and then to Watauga authorities after was sent to this department after the meeting took place within the county in the town of Matney. He accused his son of pulling out Bowie’s knife and trying to harm him.
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Father Joseph Barnes was trying to decide whether to arrest Isaac for the alleged attack or to continue unintentionally. The father then went to a magistrate, but decided not to fulfill the involuntary commitment, according to the sheriff. Joseph Barnes did not immediately respond to a phone call or text message seeking comment.
Hagaman said that before the mother and stepfather were killed, they contacted his office on Monday out of concern for their son.
Family members warned the county sheriff’s office that the son was suffering from a mental breakdown and could be dangerous if approached.
Watauga County dispatchers, meanwhile, warned officials Sunday and Monday to be vigilant about Isaac, who fled into the woods on the border of Avery County and Watauga after allegedly attacking his father.
“They were trying to find Mr. Barnes, who was essentially somewhere in the woods,” Hagaman said. “Camping is not the right word, but he was hiding in the woods or standing in the woods. No one knew exactly where he was. When this report came from the father about the allegation of brandishing a weapon, then we decided, “Well, if he’s in the woods, maybe wait for him and see if he comes out.” But he never did. Subsequent actions then led to our deadly encounter with him. “
When Barnes’ mother and stepfather, Michelle and George Wyatt Ligan, didn’t show up for work or answer Wednesday’s calls, sir. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox were sent to 553 Hardaman Circle at 9:44 a.m. to conduct a welfare inspection. Upon arrival, they saw two cars in front of the house belonging to the family and suspected that the couple was inside. After knocking on the door and entering the house, they were met by an unexpected visitor.
“They were going from the basic level down. Then Mr. Barnes shot the officers, Hagaman said.
When reserve forces arrived, a diversion was created and a small rescue squad pulled Ward out of the house. A Boone police officer was hit by gunfire during an initial attempt to rescue lawmakers, but was not injured by a ballistic helmet.
Ward boarded a helicopter and was taken to a hospital in Johnson City, where he later died. He was 36 years old.
Fox, 25, died at the scene and was in the house throughout the 13-hour confrontation.
Hagaman said Barnes fired from several parts of the house, but when the shooting stopped in about 30 minutes, authorities sent a robot to show someone lying on a bed, although they did not know who it was. After they introduced tear gas and did not see moving from inside the house, law enforcement officers entered the building.
Around 11 p.m., Michelle and George Wyatt Ligan were found dead, although the time and date of their killing remain unclear. They were 61 and 58 years old, respectively.
Authorities said earlier that Barnes appeared to have died from suicide, but this has not yet been confirmed, according to Hagaman.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot share specific details beyond what has already been shared so far,” said Angie Grube, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
A public service for the fallen deputies will be held at 3 p.m. On Thursday at the Appalachian State University Holmes Convocation Center in Boone, according to Carolyn Austin, co-owner of the Austin & Barnes funeral home. Doors will open to public places at 1 p.m., and attendees must wear a face mask.
A fundraising couple, a North Carolina pro-law enforcement organization formed Thursday to support the Ward and Fox families, has generated more than $ 180,000. This is the largest fundraising project Back the Blue NC, launched since its inception in July 2020.
Gaddy Adelman, a spokesman for the group, said the Boone shooting should serve as a reminder of how dangerous even a routine welfare inspection can be.
“Most of the police that are in the United States right now are men and women who care for their communities and put their lives in danger for those communities on a daily basis, like what we just saw going on in the ordinary. well-being, and then not being able to go to their family at the end of the day, ”Adelman said.
Despite the tragedy, Hagaman suspected that the death toll could have been much higher and affected the general public.
He said Barnes did not leave a note at the scene of the crime, but knew from members of the shooter’s family that the attacker had a “large cache” with weapons that may have been intended for mass shooting.
“The blessing at the death of the two officers was that he (Barnes) was imprisoned, albeit with four casualties, and not in the neighborhood or anywhere else,” Hagaman said.