Three Kentucky cops and a police canine were killed in a shootout while trying to serve a warrant to a man wanted for domestic violence.
Prestonsburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry, Canine Handler Jacob Chaffins and K9 Drago were killed late Thursday night after encountering ‘pure hell’ at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia.
Lance Storz, 49, fired multiple rounds at the officers as they approached his home in an attempt to serve an emergency protection order.
Police allege Storz acted as a ‘sheer terrorist’ and had ‘planned’ the mass shooting, noting how he was waiting for them with a rifle when they arrived on scene.
The accused shooter surrendered after negotiations that included his family members and was charged with multiple counts of murder of a police officer, attempted murder of a police officer and assaulting a service animal.
Storz has pleaded not guilty and remains jailed on a $10 million bond ahead of his July 11 court hearing.
Prestonsburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure (left) and Floyd County Deputy William Petry (right) were killed late Thursday night after encountering ‘pure hell’ at Storz’s home
Canine Handler Jacob Chaffins (pictured) was shot during the standoff and died the next day
Officers were called to Storz’s Main Street home shortly before 7pm Thursday as part of a domestic violence investigation.
When deputies arrived at the property, Storz was standing by with a rifle, seemingly waiting for them, and opened fire, Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt said.
‘They had no chance,’ he told WSAZ-TV. ‘They encountered pure hell when they arrived.’
Four deputies initially responded, then called for backup when they were shot at.
‘When the deputies put out the call for help, the responding agencies, I guess, just entered the line of fire without even knowing where it was coming from.’ Hunt said.
‘We were there for hours before we even knew where it was coming from.’
Witness allege Storz used multiple weapons in his violent attack that resembled a ‘war zone.’ Gunshots reportedly rang out for hours while responding officers were seen ducking for cover.
‘When I say it was a war zone when I pulled into this area, you are talking about people in fatigues, people with body armor, people with night vision, people with assault weapons – if that’s not a war zone, I don’t know what is,’ Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley said.
‘Lots of ammunition. You could hear the gunfire ring out and you could tell there were different caliber weapons. Smaller caliber, some large caliber, some shooting at extreme velocities. Ya know, very quick shooting.’
Lance Storz, 49, (pictured) opened fire on deputies who were serving a court-issued warrant on Thursday. He surrendered after negotiations that included his family members and was charged with multiple counts of murder of a police officer, attempted murder of a police officer and assaulting a service animal
Officers were called to Storz’s Main Street home shortly before 7pm Thursday as part of a domestic violence investigation
When deputies arrived at the property, Storz was standing by with a rifle, seemingly waiting for them, and opened fire
A police officer is seen taking cover behind a patrol car after shots were fired from the house
In addition to the four fatalities, the incident left at least five officers wounded.
One was undergoing surgery Friday morning at UK Hospital and another was being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after having hid under a car for several hours to avoid being shot.
‘A deputy laid under a vehicle for hours as gunshots just went ringing over his head,’ Hunt said. ‘At one time the car that he was under just took a barrage of bullets and and shot the K-9 dog in the backseat while this gentleman was under that car.’
‘There’s a special place in hell for people like this. And if there ain’t, there ought to be,’ echoed Bartley. ‘Those people were not just police officers.’
‘You hear about something happening in another state and you think, you know, a police officer shot but it’s not a police officer shot, or multiple police officers in this case, these are human beings. These are people with children, spouses, moms and dads. Their world will never be the same.’
Three officers remained hospitalized as of Friday, while another had been treated and released. The current conditions of the injured were not immediately clear.
Witness allege Storz (pictured during his virtual arraignment on Friday morning) used multiple weapons in his violent attack that resembled a ‘war zone.’ Gunshots reportedly rang out for hours while responding officers were seen ducking for cover
In addition to the four fatalities, the incident left at least five officers wounded
Storz was arraigned Friday morning by a judge in Pike County. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder of a police officer and was jailed on a $10 million bond.
One of the charges was originally attempted murder of a police officer, but a judge said at the hearing that was upgraded to murder.
He is also facing another attempted murder charge and assault on a service animal. Bartley said additional charges are pending against the accused murderer.
Officials also moved a family member and child who lived in Storz’s home to a safe house on Thursday. No additional details about their whereabouts or conditions were provided.
According to the order of protection filed against Storz, which was obtained by the TV station, he had threatened a woman and child on June 28 and was holding them captive.
The woman accused Storz of abuse, rape and sodomy. She also alleged he became ‘irate’ and ‘refused to let her leave’ the property after she told him she was moving into an apartment.
She claims he ‘had nothing to lose and was all in.’
Prestonsburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure (left) worked in Floyd County law enforcement for 39 years. He commanded the Special Projects Division, which contains School Resource and Safety, Criminal Investigations and Interdiction Squad, and Training & Preparedness
Frasure (pictured), a married Christian man, described himself as a proud American and often made posts on social media encouraging others to support law enforcement. His father had also been a police officer in Prestonsburg
Deputy William Petry and Prestonsburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure were killed in the shooting. Another Prestonsburg officer, Jacob Chaffins, died after being hospitalized, the police department said in a social media post Friday night.
Frasure worked in Floyd County law enforcement for 39 years. He commanded the Special Projects Division, which contains School Resource and Safety, Criminal Investigations and Interdiction Squad, and Training & Preparedness.
His daughter, Stacy Frasure McGuire, posted an emotional tribute to Fraser on Facebook, praising him as a man who loved his family.
‘You watch media about shootings and think it’s never gonna happen here. Evil has reached our county. An evil evil man took my daddies life today,’ she wrote.
‘I know I should forgive but how do I do that? My daddy was a great man who loved his family like no other. None of this seems real. Please keep us in ur prayers as well as the other officers and their families.’
One of her friends commented on the post, adding: ‘One of the greatest men I ever knew. We love him so much. So sorry for your immeasurable loss!’
Frasure, a married Christian man, described himself as a proud American and often made posts on social media encouraging others to support law enforcement.
His father had also been a police officer in Prestonsburg, according to his posts.
Deputy William Petry (right) is remembered as a loving family man who devoted his life to his community. He is pictured with his son
Petry, before serving as a deputy for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, was a Kentucky State Trooper.
He is remembered as a loving family man who devoted his life to his community. Tributes have flooded his social media pages, praising him for his ‘compassion and kindness.’
‘William Petry was a husband, father, grandfather, friend & a protector of our community. He was a wonderful man,’ one tribute read. ‘I’ll never forget a day he came in the studio to help out with a fundraiser for Trooper Island & when he left he stopped and saluted a picture I had hanging on the wall of my grandfather. That moment will forever be in my memory.’
‘He truly died doing what he loved to do and that was to protect and serve his community!’ another friend posted.
His wife, Sherry Rorrer Petry, was among those to honor Petry online, noting how their family’s lives will ‘never be the same.’
Their son, Chase, also described him as being the ‘best Dad I could ever ask for.’
‘Thank you for always being there for me and pushing me to be the best I can!’ he wrote.
Patrolman Jacob Chaffins (center) is survived by his wife, Savannah (left), and daughter, Paisley (right). He had worked for the Prestonsburg Police Department for two years after having previously served as a Prestonsburg firefighter, EMT and soldier in the US Army
Social media tributes describe Chaffins (left) as a generous man who ‘would’ve given anyone the shirt off of his back if they needed it’
Patrolman Jacob Chaffins was shot during the standoff and died the next day.
He had worked for the Prestonsburg Police Department for two years after having previously served as a local firefighter, EMT and soldier in the US Army.
He is survived by his wife, Savannah, and daughter, Paisley.
Social media tributes describe him as a generous man who ‘would’ve given anyone the shirt off of his back if they needed it.’
‘Everyone that met him could tell that he had a heart of gold, you never seen Jacob without a smile on his face in school,’ on person wrote. ‘If you look around you can see what kind of impact Jacob had in so many peoples lives not just in the city of Prestonsburg, but in Floyd County.’
‘You was such a great person & always a hero trying to save the world.. you made such a great impact on everyone’s life that you came in contact with, you will never be forgotten!’ echoed another.
The Prestonsburg Police Department also paid tribute to Chaffins, saying: ‘The lives you’ve saved since you even started policing are innumerable, and that’s how you gave your life – saving another. We will shine your light to Paisley and the world so long as we breathe.’
K9 Drago, a Belgian Malinois, was also shot and killed in Thursday’s standoff.
Fraley’s Training Services said he was a ‘phenomenal K9 who served the Floyd county community with nothing but excellence.’
His handler, Dusty Newsome, took to Facebook saying ‘no words can describe’ the pain he and his family are going through as they face the loss of Drago.
K9 Drago, a Belgian Malinois, was also shot and killed in Thursday’s standoff. Fraley’s Training Services said he was a ‘phenomenal K9 who served the Floyd county community with nothing but excellence’
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear addressed the tragedy on Friday, alleging they are heartbroken over the officers’ deaths.
‘This is a tough morning for our commonwealth,’ Gov. Beshear tweeted Friday morning. ‘Floyd County and our brave first responders suffered a tragic loss last night. I want to ask all of Kentucky to join me in praying for this community.’
‘Britainy and I are praying for the families of those lost, those injured and the entire Allen community. These heroes sacrificed everything to protect our people,’ he added.
His wife similarly said ‘heart breaks for the Allen community.’ Britainy also shared that her ‘thoughts and prayers are with’ the families affected by the shooting.
‘Let us honor our first responders for their bravery and sacrifice,’ she said.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron also paid tribute to the officers who apprehended Storz, saying: ‘Our law enforcement exhibited unimaginable heroism and sacrifice last night in the face of evil.’