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Posted on: June 30, 2021

Police release fact statement on Laurel Place incident

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The City of Lenoir Police Department released the following fact statement on the incident that occurred today at 1226 Laurel Pl NW.

Fact Statement for Immediate Release 

Date: June 30, 2021
Time: 3:30 pm
Circumstance: Death Investigation
Location: 1226 Laurel Pl. NW      Lenoir, NC 28645 

Summary: On June 30, 2021, the Lenoir Police Department received 911 calls advising there were shots fired, a fire, and a possible explosion at 1226 Laurel Pl. NW Lenoir, NC 28645.  The Lenoir Police Department and the Lenoir Fire Department responded to the scene.  When first responders arrived at the scene, there was a large fire within the residence.

Once the fire department was able to extinguish the flames, investigators entered the residence and found four people dead inside.  All four victims appear to have died due to gunshot wounds.  The victims consisted of a white male age 58, a white female age 18, a white female age 15, and a white male age 29.  The identity of the victims will not be released at this time. This does not appear to be a random act and no suspects are being sought at this time.

This continues to be an on-going investigation involving The Lenoir Police Department, the Lenoir Fire Department, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. No further information will be released at this time.

Authority: Chief Brent Phelps

Updated Information (#1)

Thursday July 1, 2021, 11:58 am

Victim Information

Ronald Albert Ward
58 years of age (yoa)
1226 Laurel Pl
Lenoir, NC 28645

Ronald James Ward “Jimmy”
29 yoa
1226 Laurel Pl.
Lenoir, NC 28645

Katlyn Nichole Ward “Katie”
18 yoa
1226 Laurel Pl.
Lenoir, NC 28645

Emily Grace Ward
15 yoa
1226 Laurel Pl.
Lenoir, NC 28645

As a result of evidence gathered at the scene by Investigators the fire at the residence was found to be set intentionally by use of an accelerant. The Lenoir Police Department does not expect to release any further information concerning this incident. This is a heartbreaking tragedy for the family of the victims. We ask that your thoughts and prayers be with them.

Statement Update #2

Thursday, July 1, 2021, 3:29 pm

Subsequent information and evidence gathered during the course of the investigation revealed that the suspect, Ronald James Ward (29 yoa) shot his sisters and father before intentionally setting the home on fire and shooting himself.

Following the initial 9-1-1 call from a neighbor, officers arrived at the home within three minutes. Upon arrival, officers immediately attempted to render medical attention to the victims, but they had already succumbed to their injuries. All four bodies have been transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office where a cause of death will be determined.

Information and evidence gathered during the investigation indicates that Ronald James Ward was the only suspect involved in the case.

Please continue to keep all of those impacted by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.

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