Rough timeline details fatal shooting
by Kellen Moore
This information was provided by Sgt. Shane Robbins of the Boone Police Department, who is acting as an information officer for this incident:
At approximately 12:50 a.m. Thursday, the Watauga County 911 Communication Center received a 911 open line call, a call in which there was no hang-up but no one on the line.
Two Watauga County Sheriff's Department deputies were dispatched to a home on Hardin Road in Deep Gap. They arrived on the scene at 1:04 a.m. and within minutes were fired upon.
Officer William Mast Jr. was wounded, and a second deputy returned fire on the suspect.
Within minutes, other WCSO deputies responded to a call of shots fired and secured the scene, and Watauga Medics were dispatched to the scene.
Mast and the suspect were treated at the scene by deputy/paramedics, Deep Gap first responders and Watauga Medics, then transported to the Watauga Medical Center.
They were pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
The State Bureau of Investigation was notified at 1:38 a.m. and arrived a short time later. The investigation was turned over to the SBI as is standard in an officer-involved shooting.
The news release stated that the name of the second officer and suspect could not be released, but SBI Spokeswoman Jennifer Canada identified them Thursday as Deputy Preston Russell and 33-year-old Mitchell Allen Trivette.
Mast, 23, had worked at the sheriff's office for about three and a half years. No further information was immediately available about Trivette.
"This has been a sad day for our office and our community," Sheriff Len Hagaman said in the statement Thursday. "I want to commend the professionalism of the members of our department as they continue to assist the SBI with their investigation. I also want to thank other law enforcement agencies in the county for assisting us and the local community, clergy members and businesses for their outpouring of support.
"This investigation is going to take some time to complete, and I ask residents and others to refrain from speculation into the details of this incident."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Mast is the first Watauga County sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty. Other information indicates that Amos "Wellie" Howell died in November 1902 after being shot while serving a warrant. Howell had been deputized only for the purpose of serving that warrant, according to "Until He is Dead," a historical text by Tom Rusher.