Two Kentucky officers killed, five others injured in ‘pure hell’ shootout

Published 9:52 pm Friday, July 1, 2022

Two law enforcement officers were killed and five were injured when a man opened fire on police attempting to serve a warrant at a home in eastern Kentucky Thursday night, authorities said.

Police took 49-year-old Lance Storz into custody late Thursday night.

An emergency management official was also injured and a police K9 dog was killed, according to the arrest citation.

The responding officers encountered “pure hell” when they arrived on the scene, Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told reporters Friday afternoon.

“They had no chance,” he said.

Hunt said four deputies initially responded, and then called for backup when shots were fired at them. The officers at the scene were under fire for hours, Hunt said. He said Storz surrendered after negotiations that included Storz’s family members.

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.

Hunt said one of his deputies, William Petry, and Prestonsburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure were killed in the shooting incident. Frasure worked for 39 years in law enforcement in Floyd County. Another Prestonsburg officer, Jacob Chaffins, is currently hospitalized, Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton said in a social media post.

Few details from police were available Friday morning from the rural area in a mountainous part of eastern Kentucky. State police said in a brief statement that they are investigating an “officer-involved shooting,” and gave few other details.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a social media post Friday that he is “heartbroken to learn of the deaths of two law enforcement officers” during the shooting in Floyd County.

“Our law enforcement exhibited unimaginable heroism and sacrifice last night in the face of evil,” Cameron said.

Storz used a rifle to fire multiple rounds at officers around his residence on Main Street in Allen, Kentucky, the citation said.

Kentucky State Police were called to the scene at 6:30 p.m., joining local officers already on the scene.

Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told local media that the suspect opened fire on deputies who were serving a court-issued warrant Thursday evening related to a domestic violence situation.

“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,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a social media post Friday morning. “This is a tough morning for our commonwealth.”

Hunt said several officers were taken to different hospitals.