Three police die in Kentucky shooting while serving domestic violence warrant

Three law enforcement officers were killed and five others wounded in eastern Kentucky when a man with a rifle opened fire on police attempting to serve a warrant, authorities said.

An emergency management official was also injured and a police dog was killed during the confrontation at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia.

Police took 49-year-old Lance Storz into custody late Thursday night after an hours-long standoff.

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

“They had no chance,” said Hunt, whose jurisdiction includes Allen.

Hunt said four deputies initially responded, and they called for backup when they were shot at. Storz surrendered after negotiations that included his family members, the sheriff said.

Hunt had told local media the deputies were serving a court-issued warrant Thursday evening related to a domestic violence situation.

One of Hunt’s deputies, William Petry, and Prestonsburg, Kentucky, police captain Ralph Frasure were killed in the shooting.

Frasure worked for 39 years in law enforcement in Floyd county. Another Prestonsburg officer, Jacob Chaffins, died after being taken to a hospital, the police department said in a social media post Friday night.

Storz was arraigned Friday morning by a judge in nearby Pike county. He pleaded not guilty to murdering police officers, among other charges, and was jailed on a $10m bond.

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

The state’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, posted on social media that he was heartbroken over news of the officers’ deaths.

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

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