A small town in east Kentucky mourns the loss of three law enforcement officers who were shot and killed on Thursday. The officers were attempting to serve a domestic violence-related warrant. Lance Storz, a 49-year-old male, was expecting the police and ambushed them with gunfire.
Kentucky law enforcement officers said the shootout went on for almost three hours before he was taken into custody.
The officers that responded to the scene explained they encountered “pure hell” when they got to the location, according to John Hunt, a Floyd County Sheriff.
Governor Andy Beshear made a post on social media on Friday morning that said it is a hard morning for their community. The county and its first responders are suffering from a tragic loss.
Kentucky State Police officers are investigating the shooting and continue looking for answers that might give a reason as to why the incident went so deadly.
The Small Kentucky Town Mourns
On Friday, deceased officers Captain Ralph Frasure and Deputy William Petry were transported through the community from the hospital in a hearse. The weather in Allen, Kentucky at that time was a light mist. The population in the small Kentucky town is only 166 people.
Officer Frasure served on the force in Kentucky for nearly 50 years prior to his life being taken. “For thirty-nine years you served with honor and glory up until the last second when you did not go down without a fight,” the department explained in a post.
Later that same night, Allen Kentucky was hurt again by the announcement of another officer’s death. Jacob Chaffins also died from the shooting. He was the youngest of all of the officers who passed away. Chaffins was only a police officer with the Prestonsburg Police Department in Kentucky for two years. He was a canine trainer.
One of the police dogs Chaffins handled, K9 Drago, was also killed on Thursday during the ambush.
Over a day after the shooting, tow trucks removed a minimum of two law enforcement vehicles. Both were riddled with bullet holes.
Also, three other police officers and the director of emergency management were injured during the shooting. They are all recovering.
The Charges Storz is Facing
On Friday, Storz pled not guilty in court. He is being charged with two counts of murder of police officers, five counts of attempted murder of law enforcement, one count of assault of a service animal in the first degree, and one count of attempted murder. One of the attempted murder charges is likely to be changed to the murder of a police officer since Officer Chaffin did die.
Judge Eric D. Hall ordered that the shooter stays in custody on a bond of $10 million. Storz’s next court date is scheduled for July 11.
Domestic Violence Warrant
An emergency protection order for domestic violence for Storz’s spouse was issued on Thursday. This is what led the police to his house.
Specific information in regard to the possible domestic violence was not available. There was no other history of criminal activity for Storz found in Kentucky by the Courier-Journal.
Written by Marrissa Kay
USA Today: Questions remain as Kentucky mourns 3 cops killed while serving domestic violence warrant; by Krista Johnson
CBS News: 3 officers killed, 4 others hurt when man opens fire on police serving warrant in Kentucky
New York Post: Lance Storz arrested after three cops, K9 killed in Kentucky shootout; by Dana Kennedy
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