‘We’re devastated’: Family of Watauga County shooting victims heartbroken over shooting


BOONE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The family of the victims of a Watauga County shooting that left five people dead said they are “heartbroken” by the loss of their brother George Ligon, his wife Michelle, and her son Isaac Barnes.

The couple was shot and killed Wednesday inside their Watauga County home. Two sheriff’s deputies were also killed.

Officials said Barnes, 32, shot the couple before an hours-long standoff with law enforcement. He also died at the scene.  

George Ligon’s sisters said their family is struggling to come to terms with the loss.

“We’re devastated. We’re going to miss him and her and Isaac more than we have words to say,” said Susan Sisk. “We also are heartbroken over the police officers that lost their lives and their families who are grieving.”

The sisters said George and Michelle met in Boone and had been married for nearly 15 years. George’s sister Wendy Deese said that Michelle was “absolutely” part of the family.

Sisk said one of the hardest things about their loss has been explaining what happened to her granddaughter.

“I explained to her as best I could,” she said. “I told her that Isaac was sick and that he was ill and he was sad and depressed. And if they ever felt that way or knew someone that did feel that way that they should talk to somebody. And I would urge everyone who hears this to do the same.”

As investigators work to determine what led of the shooting, the Ligons’ family is doing the same. The sister expressed regret that they had not known Isaac was struggling and wished that they could have recognized his pain.

As the family grieves, so does the law enforcement community in the region after Watauga County Sgt. Chris Ward and Deputy Logan Fox died in the incident.

The bodies of Ward and Fox were to be brought to Boone Friday afternoon joined by a law enforcement caravan.

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