Several law enforcement officers were killed and several others were wounded when an attempt to serve a warrant on the home of a rural Kentucky man went tragically wrong.
Lance Storz, a 49-year-old resident of Allen, Kentucky now faces a slew of charges including murder and attempted murder after he opened fire on police officers, ultimately killing three officers and a K-9 dog while wounding four others, CBS News reported.
Domestic incident turns violent and deadly
Deputies from the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Storz’s home in Allen in response to alleged domestic violence on Thursday evening but were met with rifle fire. Calls for backup resulted in local police from nearby Prestonburg and State Police soon arriving on the scene.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told reporters that his deputies and the other officers encountered “pure hell” and lamented that “They had no chance” against the barricaded suspect armed with a rifle.
In addition to those who died — one deputy, a local officer, the local police captain, and the K-9 — another three officers and deputies were wounded along with a civilian emergency management official.
Pleads not guilty, held on $10 million bond
According to local CBS affiliate WKYT, Sheriff Hunt explained that deputies conducted a welfare check in response to allegations from a relative that Storz’s wife was being held hostage in an abusive situation.
The wife was removed to a safe location, but when deputies returned to the house to arrest Storz and serve him with a protection order, the shooting began.
CBS News reported that the incident devolved into an hours-long shootout and standoff that finally ended after Storz’s family members helped negotiate his surrender to law enforcement.
Storz was arraigned on Friday and pleaded not guilty to the multiple counts of murder and attempted murder charges against him and was ordered to remain in custody on a $10 million bond.
Deceased officers identified
According to an update from the Kentucky State Police, which is leading an investigation of the incident, the deceased officials were identified as FCSO Deputy William Petry, Prestonburg Police Captain Ralph Frasure, Prestonburg Police officer Jacob Chaffins, and K-9 Drago.
“This is another hard day for Kentucky as we mourn the loss of three brave officers and a K-9 who gave their lives while protecting the people of Floyd County,” Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said in the statement. “Britainy and I ask the commonwealth to join us in praying for the family and loved ones of Captain Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry and Officer Jacob Chaffins. Let us stand together in honoring these heroes and their sacrifice, and pray for a full recovery for those injured.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) said, “Please keep the families of these brave officers in your prayers. Our law enforcement exhibited unimaginable heroism and sacrifice last night in the face of evil.”