April 29 (UPI) -- Five people are dead, including two sheriff's deputies, after a lengthy standoff in northwestern North Carolina that began with gunfire, authorities said.
Officials said the standoff began on Wednesday when deputies performed a welfare check at a Boone, N.C., home after the owner and family members failed to show up for work and didn't answer phone calls.
"Deputies entered the residence after discovering all vehicles belonging to the residents were on the property," the Watauga County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "Upon entering the home, two Watauga County Sheriff's deputies received gunshot wounds from an unknown individual within the residence."
The standoff continued for 13 hours until the gunfire eventually stopped and deputies found the shooter and his parents dead inside the home.
Boone is located about 90 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte and about 30 miles south of the North Carolina-Virginia border.
Authorities didn't immediately identify the shooter or his parents or say how they died.
"These horrific shootings that claimed the lives of loved ones show the ever-present danger law enforcement can encounter in the line of duty," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted.
"I have talked with Sheriff Len Hagaman to offer condolences and additional assistance."