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North Carolina Deputy Sheriff Killed in Shootout

July 26--A Watauga County sheriff's deputy and another person were killed overnight during a shootout northeast of Boone, the sheriff's office says.

Deputy William Mast Jr., 24, was killed when he was shot by a man while making a call about 1:15 a.m. The sheriff's office says the incident happened at a residence in the 2100 block of Hardin Road, off U.S. 421. That is in the Deep Gap community.

Authorities say Mast and another deputy were responding to a call when a man opened fire, striking Mast.

The second deputy returned fire, killing the man, the sheriff's office says. The name of the other man killed has not been released. Mast was rushed to a hospital but died Thursday morning of his injuries.

The sheriff's office has not said what led to the shooting, saying that the SBI is overseeing the investigation.

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

The N.C. Highway Patrol, along with Appalachian State University police and other agencies, cordoned off the area throughout the morning. The area remained closed to the public early Thursday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 - The Charlotte Observer, N.C.