Update filed 6:08 a.m. Jan. 16

In a press release sent out by the Ashe County Sheriff's Office Thursday, Jan. 16, Ashe County Sheriff Phil Howell stated emergency communications received a call at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15 related to a welfare check in the Fleetwood area.

"Just before arriving on scene, Ashe County Deputies were shot at multiple times," the statement read. "Phone calls and communication from the suspect indicated he wanted to cause harm to any law enforcement individual."

The release noted that despite being fired upon multiple times during the standoff, no first responders or emergency personnel were injured.

The standoff ended shortly before 2:30 a.m. following the death of the suspect, who's name has not been released.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has been requested to conduct a full investigation into the matter, which Howell noted was standard procedure for the ACSO.


Update filed 2:35 a.m. Jan. 16

Ashe County Sheriff Phil Howell confirmed the ending of an eight-hour standoff beginning in the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 15. The standoff ended with the suspect deceased, Howell said. 

"I don't know exactly how the call originated, but once our officers got on the scene, the suspect did start shooting at officers," Howell said.

U.S. 221 was reopened shortly after.


FLEETWOOD — A section of U.S. 221 stretching from Water Tank Road to Veron Roten Road has been closed due to a standoff with the Ashe County Sheriff's Office near the convenience center.

Multiple agencies in Ashe County are involved between the road closure and the standoff, including the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Watauga County Sheriff's Office, ACSO and multiple fire departments.

According to Watauga Sheriff Len Hagaman, the Watauga County Special Response Team — made up of the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, Boone Police and Appalachian State University Police — is standing by. Hagaman said the team has multiple Watauga and Boone Police Department K-9s, an App State Police drone and paramedic and EMS tactical medical members. A bomb squad from Wilkes County has also been dispatched.

Hagaman advised said the incident was under the command of Ashe County Sheriff Phil Howell.

Further scanner traffic indicated residents in the area have been evacuated, shots have been fired, a "subject" has requested to speak to a senator, the subject has previously been sub-contracted to do blasting work and a bomb squad from Wilkes County has been notified of the situation.

Ashe Post & Times will provide updates for this story when they are made available.

Kayla Lasure provided additional reporting for this story.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.