Flags to be lowered in Kentucky after 3 officers killed
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Flags at Kentucky state buildings will be lowered to half-staff Tuesday morning in honor of three officers who were killed when a man with a rifle opened fire on police attempting to serve a warrant, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.
Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset Thursday in remembrance of Floyd County sheriff’s deputy and Martin City fire Chief William Petry, Prestonsburg police Capt. Ralph Frasure and Prestonsburg police Officer Jacob Chaffins, Beshear said in a news release.
The three were killed Thursday night in an hourslong standoff at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia in eastern Kentucky. A German shepherd police dog named Drago was also killed and several other law enforcement officials were wounded in the shooting, officials said.
Lance Storz, 49, was taken into custody after the shooting, authorities said.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told reporters Friday that four deputies initially responded to the home, then called for backup when they were shot at. The sheriff said Storz surrendered after negotiations that included his family members. Hunt had told local media the deputies were serving a court-issued warrant Thursday evening related to a domestic violence situation.
Storz was arraigned Friday. 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 after Chaffins died.
Hunt told news outlets Sunday that officers were performing a welfare check after a call from a relative of Storz’s wife about possible abuse. Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams said the officers did not know they were walking into an ambush and the shooter had a field of fire of more than 200 yards (180 meters), the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
“There was one single-lane road leading into his home and the home was in an elevated position. This created a nearly unbreachable position,” Williams said.
The officers “performed valiantly, and did everything in their power to neutralize the suspect and attempt a surrender,” Williams said.
“Upon surrender, the reality and magnitude of what just occurred began to sink in and our community was going to be forever changed,” Williams said.
Funeral services have been set for this week for the slain officers, Beshear said.