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Originally published: 2012-11-20 09:58:15
Last modified: 2012-11-21 12:36:05

Update: Ashe man fatally shot by officer

Ashe County Sheriff James Williams identified Laurel Springs resident Walter Mark Houck, 47, of 543 Gaither Poe Road, on Wednesday as the man killed during a confrontation with officers late Monday night.

ACSO Deputies Joshua Hopkins, Brandon Howell and Jeremy Munday, in addition to West Jefferson Police Officer Jake Howell, responded to a report of a shooting from a residence on Gaither Poe Road in Laurel Springs shortly after 11 p.m. on Nov. 19, according to ACSO Capt. Carolyn Gentry.

At the scene, officers found Houck armed with a high-powered rifle and scope, according to Gentry, who said the officers identified themselves and ordered Houck to put down his weapon.

Houck, 47, refused and pointed the weapon at the officers, who then opened fire and killed him, according to the sheriff's office.

When asked how many shots were fired at Houck, Williams said, "Multiple (shots) both ways."

He added that the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is continuing its investigation into the shooting.

The names of all involved were withheld until Wednesday morning, until Houck's next of kin was notified, according to Gentry.

All officers were placed on administrative leave with pay pending the completion of the SBI investigation.

In a statement released Wednesday, Williams expressed his "complete confidence in all the officers involved," and said he was "satisfied they followed department policy and their training protocols."

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family, as well as to our officers and departments involved," Williams said.