FLOYD COUNTY, Ky (WSAZ) — During a press conference Sunday, Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt shared events that led up to a violent, deadly standoff that occurred Thursday evening in the community of Allen.
The incident described by officials as a ‘war zone’ claimed the lives of three officers, a K-9 officer and injured four other people, including additional police officers.
Lance Storz is in the Pike County Detention Center on a $10 million cash bond facing several charges, including two counts of murder of a police officer. He also faces charges in connection with the death of K-9 Drago who served with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department. A not guilty plea was entered on Storz’s behalf during a virtual court hearing.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt said Sunday the incident began Thursday, June 30 after the sheriff’s office received a phone call about a woman being held against her will.
When deputies arrived at the home in question near the intersection of Main Street and Railroad Street for a welfare check, a woman was waiting outside and ran to their cruisers, according to Sheriff Hunt.
The woman told deputies Lance Storz was inside the home and she was only able to leave because he was asleep.
Deputies retrieved the woman’s daughter who was at another home and took them both to a safe place, Sheriff Hunt reports.
While being interviewed, the woman accused Storz of taking her phone and holding her hostage inside the home for days.
Sheriff Hunt said the woman told deputies the only time she was able to use a phone was when Storz was sleeping. That is when she said she was able to contact a relative for help. That relative then called the sheriff’s department, Sheriff Hunt says.
Following the woman’s interview with officials, an Emergency Protection Order was filed.
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The woman accused Storz of emotional and physical abuse, including rape. She also warned deputies by telling them that Storz had guns inside the home, the press conference Sunday revealed.
“The woman did say that Mr. Storz had firearms in the house. Deputies didn’t know at that time, obviously how many or to what extent his training was or if he had any,” said Sheriff Hunt.
An examination at the hospital did show signs of physical assault, deputies say.
Sheriff Hunt said Sunday a total of four deputies went to the home Thursday to serve the Emergency Protection Order and arrest Storz for fourth degree physical assault.
Deputies got their first glimpse of Storz in a window behind blinds when they first approached the home.
Deputy William Petry, a victim of Thursday’s shootout, was the first to go up to the house, Sheriff Hunt reported.
Hunt said Storz opened the door ‘like he had been waiting for police’ and started firing.
Sheriff Hunt tells WSAZ.com Storz was wearing a bullet proof vest and backpack when he started firing at police.
“The suspect opened the door like he had been waiting for them,” said Hunt. “He knew they were coming.”
Sheriff Hunt said at least one officer was forced to hide underneath his police vehicle for hours to avoid being shot.
“Deputy Lawson would have been the fourth car,” said Hunt. “Deputy Hall was the third car. Deputy Hall was able to roll out of his car and he was to the rear of the K-9 vehicle driven by deputy Newsome. Deputy Hall rolled under the car and remained hidden there for hours to come. When Deputy Lawson rolled out of his vehicle he was immediately shot.”
Deputy William Petry with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, Capt. Ralph Frasure with the Prestonsburg Police Department and Prestonsburg Police Officer Jacob R. Chaffins all died as a result of their injuries sustained during the shootout.
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A vigil is planned Sunday evening to honor Petry, Frasure and Chaffins at the Prestonsburg High School.
Officials described Thursday’s shooting as the deadliest law enforcement death in Kentucky since the prison riot in Eddyville in 1924 and the deadliest law enforcement event to happen in Eastern Kentucky.
This is a developing story.
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