WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The couple who was shot and killed this week inside a Watauga County home has been identified by the family on Thursday.
A family member tells FOX 46 that George and Michelle Ligon are the couple who were fatally shot, and that the shooter, Isaac Alton Barnes, 32, was Michelle Ligon’s son.
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that five people total were killed, including two deputies. They’ve been identified as Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox.
The suspect, identified as Barnes, also died at the scene.
Thursday’s update comes as investigators work to piece together what led to the deadly standoff.
Watauga County Sgt. Chris Ward was responding to the home off Hardaman Circle for a welfare check along with Deputy Logan Fox. They were trying to find someone who didn’t show up for work on Wednesday. Both were shot when they entered the home.
Barnes had reportedly been shooting at law enforcement into the night, ending 13 hours later.
It is unclear how the suspect died.
The Watauga County Sheriff spoke with the media on Thursday afternoon following the tragic news.
On Thursday morning, Sgt. Ward’s second cousin Donna Ward paid her respects at a growing memorial of candles and flowers. She says they come from a law enforcement family, and this loss is devastating.
“Just heartbreak,” she said. “I told her I pray for them each and every day. I’m on my knees each and every day praying for these people. I pray for everybody, but these officers, they have a tough job. I mean they’re out here to serve and protect and people just don’t get it, they don’t.”
Winston-Salem Police joined a law enforcement caravan, bringing Ward’s body to Wake Forest Baptist Health early Thursday morning.