Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) chaplains have deployed to Boone, North Carolina, after five people, including two sheriff’s deputies, were killed during a 13-hour standoff on April 28.
Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox went to a home in Boone around 9:45 a.m. to check on the homeowner and his family after they failed to report to work or answer phone calls.
According to authorities, when Ward and Fox entered the home, they were both hit by gunfire. Other officers were able to remove Ward from the house, but he succumbed to his injuries at Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee.
Fox remained in the home throughout the ensuing standoff and eventually died at the scene.
Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman identified the gunman as Isaac Alton Barnes, 32, who is believed to have committed suicide.
The suspect’s mother, Michelle Annette Ligon, 61, and his stepfather, George Wyatt Ligon, 58, were also shot and killed by the gunman.
This marks the 18th deployment this year for the BG-RRT.
“The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is saddened to hear of these law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the BG-RRT. “We have a number of crisis-trained chaplains with law enforcement backgrounds, and they have been invited by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office to come alongside the department and provide hope and comfort to the officers as they grieve.”
Franklin Graham—who lives in Boone, where BGEA’s sister organization Samaritan’s Purse is based—shared his condolences and support for law enforcement via Facebook.
“Thank God for our law enforcement officers who answer the call day or night to protect us and are the only barrier between us and total anarchy,” he said. “Those two officers gave their lives in the pursuit of protecting their community. Our hearts break for their families and friends.
“Please join me in praying that God would comfort and uphold their grieving loved ones,” he added. “Also pray for each one who is a part of our law enforcement community in this great loss. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Psalm 23:4, KJV)”
Photo: Todd Sumlin/©2021 BGEA