Authorities in Floyd County, Kentucky, said they were trying to serve a protection order against a local man, but he allegedly opened fire on them in a murderous standoff that lasted hours. Defendant Lance Storz, 49, killed two law enforcement officers, injured five other people, and killed a police dog, authorities said.
The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office identified the slain officers as City Police Captain Ralph Frasure and Deputy William Petry.
“The procession of the fallen officers, Deputy William Petry and City Police Captain Ralph Frasure will be on Route 114 around 3:45 in route to their respective funeral homes,” the office said on Friday. “All are welcome to show their support.”
The city of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, described Frasure as a 39-year veteran. They identified Police Officer Jacob Chaffins as a survivor. He is in the hospital, the city said Friday.
“We have lost a long-time friend and a 39-year veteran of Law Enforcement in Floyd County, Ralph Frasure, who has left so many loved ones,” the city said in a statement. “Another officer, Jacob Chaffins, just beginning a career in Law Enforcement, is currently in the hospital with a grieving young wife and daughter. We also hold up our first responder friends in EMS and the Floyd County Sheriff’s office who were there in the fray, protecting the public from such a coward. We will try to keep the public aware as things are developing.”
Kentucky State Police say law enforcement officers were among the injured, with one remaining in critical condition. A fifth survivor was identified as a civilian.
“Four other law enforcement officers have received injuries; three of which remain in the hospital,” cops said. “One of the officers is in critical condition, two officers are in stable condition and one officer was treated and released. Additionally, one civilian was injured during the incident and is receiving medical care at a hospital.”
Storz survived the incident. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf in a hearing Friday for charges including the murder of a police officer (two counts), attempted murder of a police officer (five counts), attempted murder (one count) and assaulting a service animal (one count).
A preliminary hearing is set for July 11, the jail records indicate.
Deputies said they attempted to serve the protection order on a local home. That order says that Storz’s wife accused him of rape and sodomy, according to WSAZ. She got approved for an apartment, but her attempted move allegedly enraged defendant Storz. The 49-year-old defendant is accused of holding his wife and a child captive in a home Tuesday after threatening both hostages. Storz allegedly said “he had nothing to lose and was all in.”
Authorities said he used a rifle to open fire on officers.
The wife and child were moved to a safe house on Thursday, Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt and Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley said, according to the outlet.
“Lots of ammunition,” Bartley told WSAZ of the shooting. “You could hear, I was actually personally there, 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.”
“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.”
A deputy is at UK Hospital for surgery, Hunt told local reporters on Friday.
Another is getting treated for carbon monoxide poisoning because he waited under a car for hours to avoid being shot, Bartley said.
“One deputy laid under a vehicle for hours as gunshots just went ringing over his head,” Hunt said. “And actually 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.”
Though the suspect is in custody, local officers and their loved ones are left grieving.
“Those people were not just police officers,” Bartley said. “I think that gets lost a lot of times in media and across the country. 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.”