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Deputy William Mast Jr., as shown in this November 2010 photograph, was shot and killed while on duty early Thursday morning. Kellen Moore | Watauga Democrat

Originally published: 2012-07-26 07:51:43
Last modified: 2012-07-26 17:13:29

Deputy, second man killed in shooting

A Watauga County Sheriff's deputy and another man are dead after a shootout Thursday morning in Deep Gap.

Deputies responded to a mobile home at 2130 Hardin Road around 1 a.m. Thursday in response to a 911 call.

As they arrived, a suspect opened fire, wounding Deputy William Mast Jr., 23, according to Sheriff Len Hagaman.

Another deputy accompanying Mast immediately returned fire and struck the shooter, identified by the State Bureau of Investigation as 33-year-old Mitchell Allen Trivette. That deputy was identified as Preston Russell, according to SBI spokeswoman Jennifer Canada.

Both Mast and Trivette died of their injuries.

"It is a sad day for Watauga County Sheriff's Office and the Watauga County community, as Officer Mast was a friend and asset to our force and to his community," Hagaman said in an email.

Mast was hired by the Watauga County Sheriff's Office on July 1, 2009, according to county personnel records. He is survived by his wife, Paige Mast, who is expecting a child, and other family in the area.

County Manager Deron Geouque expressed his sympathy in a posting on the Watauga County website.

"Today is a sad day for Watauga County in that we have lost a member of our family," Geouque wrote. " Words cannot adequately portray how deeply saddened the county, the community and the Mast family are over this tremendous loss. Please keep the Mast family in your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time as they mourn the loss of William."

Flags flew at half-staff Thursday afternoon as the community learned of the deputy's death.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx also released a statement Thursday.

"My heart breaks for the family and friends of Watauga County Sheriff's Deputy William Ronald Mast Jr., who gave his life in the line of duty early this morning," Foxx said. "In his 23 short years, Deputy Mast made an imprint on Boone, and I know the thoughts and prayers of thousands are with his wife, Paige, their unborn child, his parents and the entire Watauga County Sheriff's Office today. May they be comforted and find peace in the midst of this tragedy.

Hagaman said Thursday morning that he could not provide any further information and directed all questions to the State Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the incident.

Canada, the SBI spokeswoman, did not answer any other questions about the events that occurred before Mast and Trivette were fatally wounded.

No further information about Trivette was immediately available Thursday.

Traffic along Hardin Road was diverted for most of Thursday morning before reopening.

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