‘They had no chance’: Three officers, K9 service dog dead after shootout with wanted man

(Video: Fox 56)

Tragedy befell the city of Prestonsburg, Kentucky Thursday night when officers serving an arrest warrant were met with gunfire, taking the lives of three officials and one K9 service dog.

Late Thursday, two officers had arrived at the home of 49-year-old Lance Storz to serve the man an arrest warrant regarding domestic violence charges. However, the situation escalated into a gun battle when the suspect opened fire with a rifle, as reported by the Associated Press.

Four deputies from the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office responded before calling for additional backup as they were shot at, the AP explained. Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt stated Friday, “They had no chance.”

Prestonburg Police Capt. Ralph Frasure and Floyd County Sheriff’s Office Deputy William Petry and K9 Drago were killed during the shooting which led to a lengthy standoff. Storz was finally brought into custody after negotiations that involved his family.

“Storz was arraigned Friday morning by a judge in Pike County,” the AP wrote. “He pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder of a police officer and was jailed on a $10 million bond…He is also facing another attempted murder charge and assault on a service animal.”

Prestonsburg Police Canine Handler Jacob Chaffins had been transported to the hospital but later died after succumbing to his injuries. An additional four law enforcement officers were injured with reports detailing that one was released, two were in stable condition and one was in critical condition. Furthermore, a civilian was also injured during the shootout.

The Officer Down Memorial Page paid tribute to each of the law enforcement officials who gave their lives in the line of duty.

The Prestonsburg Police posted End of Watch for Frasure on Facebook as June 30, 2022, “For thirty-nine years you served with honor and glory up until the last second when you did not go down without a fight. We love you. Your work here is done. There will never be another.”

Chaffins’ End of Watch was posted as well on July 1, 2022, “You have dedicated your short time on this earth to the service of the citizens of Prestonburg and the Commonwealth as an EMT, Fire Fighter, and Police Officer. You further dedicated yourself to the security of our country as a valiant soldier. 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. Rest yourself, we have the watch.”

Kentucky State Police Trooper Matt Gayheart told Fox 56, “It’s heartbreaking, you know, anytime you have a loss of life. Not only did I work with these people, these were our friends, and as a community, we have to stick together and push through it together. And we do ask everybody to keep those officers in your thoughts and prayers.”

Governor Andy Beshear (D-Ky.) joined a large chorus of Kentuckians in honoring the memory of the officers lost, tweeting, “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. This is a tough morning for our commonwealth.”

The suspect is due in court for a hearing on July 11.


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