Kentucky community remembers fallen officers following deadly shooting

Three officers were killed in a Floyd County, Kentucky, shooting.
Three officers were killed in a Floyd County, Kentucky, shooting.(WYMT)
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 7:56 AM MST|Updated: Jul. 3, 2022 at 12:06 PM MST
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT/Gray News) - People throughout Floyd County, Kentucky, are still mourning following a shootout that left three officers dead, one K-9 officer dead and five more officers wounded, WYMT reported.

Prestonsburg Police Chief Randy Woods says the officers killed in Thursday’s shooting were “irreplaceable.”

“That’s the definition of sacrifice above self because they give it all. They sacrificed their own lives in the service of others,” Woods said. “It’s irreplaceable. In this line of work, there’s not many. They call it a thin line for a reason, and our line just got thinner.”

The community is banding together, with hundreds of locals lining the roads for processions to welcome the fallen officers home. Officials say first responders are also coming together.

“There’s a law enforcement family out there. There’s an EMS family. There’s a first responder family, and they’re tight,” said Prestonsburg Mayor and former KSP Trooper Les Stapleton. “Regardless, it’s like brothers fighting sometimes, you know, that’s just what happens. They are going to carry on, you know, but when it comes down to it, it’s time. They’re all going to work with each other.”

Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt said Friday it appeared the shooter was waiting for law enforcement and opened fire on them when they arrived. (WSAZ)

Funeral arrangements for Captain Ralph Frasure, Officer Jacob Chaffins and Sheriff’s Deputy William Petry are set, but Woods said he will see his fellow officers again someday.

“I just want to see those smiling faces and those open arms again, because I know that they will be there,” Woods said. “I’d say they’ll be at the front of the line to be there to greet each and every one of us that love them so dearly.”

Stapleton says grief counseling will be scheduled in the following days and weeks to help those in the community during this troubling time.

Judge sets $10 million cash bond, new hearing date for suspect in Floyd Co. murder case
Judge sets $10 million cash bond, new hearing date for suspect in Floyd Co. murder case(WYMT)

The suspect, 49-year-old Lance Storz, started shooting Thursday when officers arrived. Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt says the deputies were trying to serve a court-issued warrant in a domestic violence situation.

Police say Storz used a rifle to fire multiple rounds at multiple police officers.

“Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville received a call for an officer assist for a shots-fired complaint,” Matt Gayheart with Kentucky State Police said “They responded out here. That situation turned into an active shooter.”

Kentucky State Police Troopers arrested Storz, and he was booked into jail early Friday morning.

He faces multiple charges, including two counts of murder of a police officer and two additional counts of attempted murder. He is also charged with assaulting a service animal.

His cash bond is set at $10 million.

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