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Friends mourn South Meck High grad among 5 killed in NC standoff. ‘Gem of a guy.’

George Ligon, a South Mecklenburg High graduate killed together with his spouse and two sheriff’s deputies close to Boone, was the “finest of bosses” and the “best friend you could ever have,” those that knew him through the years recalled.

The suspected shooter was his stepson, the son of spouse, Michelle, in accordance with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. Michelle Ligon was 61 and her husband 58.

(*5*)George and Michelle Ligon.jpg
George Ligon, a South Mecklenburg High School graduate, and his spouse, Michelle, have been among 5 folks killed in a mass capturing close to Boone, together with two Watauga County sheriff’s deputies. WBTV

Okay-9 Deputy Logan Fox and Sgt. Chris Ward additionally have been killed throughout a 13-hour standoff that ended late Wednesday, sheriff’s investigators stated. The shooter, 32-year-old Isaac Alton Barnes, died on the scene.

Condolences poured in on Facebook for the deputies and couple, together with from George Ligon’s classmates and people who later labored for and with him in Boone.

He attended Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk earlier than transferring to Appalachian State University in Boone, pals stated, and rose to department supervisor in the Boone area over a lengthy profession with Terminix, the pest management firm.

“Tragedy has struck the family of one our own from the Class of 1980,” the South Mecklenburg High School Alumni Association posted, whereas urging everybody to hope for the households of the victims. “We will miss you George.”

Always made you giggle

Classmates and colleagues recalled a man who at all times wore a smile and was so enjoyable to be round.

“George knew how to put a smile on anybody’s face,” South Meck High classmate David Isenhour posted.

In an interview with The Charlotte Observer on Friday, Isenhour stated Ligon “was just an all-around good guy.”

Isenhour, now owner-broker of Isenhour Properties in Concord, remembers how Ligon would make Isenhour’s mother giggle when she drove them to their Charlotteens dance group at Gross School of Dance in Charlotte.

“He was funny,” Isenhour stated. “He enjoyed being around people. His family was that way. Just one of those guys. Friendly. Just enjoyed life.”

‘My heart sank’

Friends on Facebook recalled how a lot they loved hanging round Ligon, who would at all times make them giggle so laborious.

Kevin Harmeyer of Boone recalled bursting out in laughter every time he chanced upon Ligon in the native Food Lion, Ligon was so humorous.

“George was absolutely an amazing person and the best friend you could ever have,” Harmeyer posted.

When Amber Mandel heard the information, “my heart sank,” Mandel advised Observer information accomplice WBTV.

Ligon was like a second father to her, stated Mandel, who labored for Ligon for eight years.

“They didn’t deserve this, no one deserved this,” she stated. “I don’t know why, only God knows why.”

Thomas South of Boone, who labored for Ligon at Terminix for 5 1/2 years, posted that he was heartbroken over the deaths.

“Go rest high on the mountain, friend, until we meet again R.I.P.,” South posted on Facebook of Ligon.

‘One of a kind’

Jeremy Dawson advised the Observer on Friday that he and Ligon “hit it off right off the bat” when Dawson joined Terminix.

“When you met him, you couldn’t not like him,” Dawson stated. “He made it impossible. He had a huge smile, he had a huge laugh that was just infectious., and we hit it off immediately.”

Ligon additionally mentored him when he determined to start out Midstate Wildlife Solutions in Asheboro, Dawson stated.

“He’s just one of a kind.” Dawson stated. “He was just one of these people you run across once in a lifetime … It’s a terrible loss for that community. He deserves people to know what a gem of a guy he was.”

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 overlaying the folks, municipalities and main information occasions of the area, and was a information bureau editor for the paper. He at present reviews on breaking information.



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