Sheriff B. Phil Howell releases additional details from the standoff in the Fleetwood area. At 5:59 pm on January 15th, 2020 our 911 center received information related to a welfare check in the Fleetwood area.
As officers arrived on scene, Landwell Vance McCall, a 50 year old male from Lenoir shot at Ashe County Deputies. Multiple shots were fired by the suspect during their initial approach to the camper, pinning the officers in place for a short time.
At approximately 7:00 pm, law enforcement from surrounding counties were requested to bring resources that may be needed throughout the night. As teams began entering our command post, we prepared evacuations of surrounding homes. Using armored vehicles from neighboring counties, we were able to safely evacuate the homes around the active shooter.
During this and the entire time, negotiations were taking place with Mr. McCall. The subject was threatening to shoot any law enforcement officer on scene and would only allow limited negotiations. McCall stated several times he would blow up his camper and nearby homes using explosives. After speaking with him over several hours, we believed this to be uncredible.
A robot that was controlled by the NC SBI was deployed to the camper. The robot was being used instead of a having an officer go face to face in this situation. The robot allowed law enforcement to view the area and have communications with Mr. McCall.
At 1:40 am, a deputy fatally shot McCall as he fired towards law enforcement. Many firearms were found in the camper, however there were no explosive devices located anywhere within.
Local & State Agencies from all around joined together during the standoff that resulted in multiple shots being fired at law enforcement during the entire saga. The Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, West Jefferson Police Department, Jefferson Police Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, NC Ashe Probation Officers, State Bureau of Investigation, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Boone Police Department, Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office & the Appalachian State University Police Department came together to pool resources for the situation. We appreciate the help and assistance from Ashe Medics, West Jefferson Volunteer Fire Dept., Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Dept., Warrensville Volunteer Fire Dept., Watauga Emergency Management and Watauga EMS.
We immediately requested the State Bureau of Investigation to conduct full investigation into the matter which is standard procedure for the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office.