Flags are lowered in Kentucky after 3 officers are killed

FRANKFORT, Kentucky (AP) — Flags at Kentucky state buildings will be lowered at half-mast Tuesday morning in honor of three officers who were killed when a man with a rifle opened fire at police trying to issue a warrant, Governor Andy Beshear said Monday.

Flags will remain at half-mast until sunset Thursday in memory of Floyd County Sheriff and Martin City Fire Chief William Petry, Police Capt. Ralph Frasure of Prestonsburg and Jacob Chaffins, the Prestonsburg police officer, Beshear said in a press release.

The three were killed Thursday night in an hour-long standoff at a home in Allen, a small town in the Appalachia hills in eastern Kentucky. A German shepherd dog named Drago was also killed and several other law enforcement officers were injured 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 house and then called for backup when fired upon. The sheriff said Storz surrendered after negotiations with his relatives. Hunt had told local media that the deputies were serving a court-issued arrest warrant on Thursday night in connection with a domestic violence situation.

Storz was arraigned on Friday. He pleaded not guilty to two murders of a police officer and was given a $10 million bail. One of the charges was originally the attempted murder of a police officer, but a judge said during the hearing that it was upgraded to murder after Chaffins died.

Hunt told news outlets on Sunday that officers were conducting a welfare check after a phone call from a relative of Storz’s wife about possible abuse. Floyd County examining magistrate Robbie Williams said officers were unaware they were ambushed and the gunman had a field of fire of more than 200 yards (180 meters), the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“There was one single carriageway leading to his house and the house was in an elevated position. This created an almost unbreakable position,” Williams said.

The officers performed bravely and did everything in their power to neutralize the suspect and surrender,” Williams said.

“As we surrendered, the reality and magnitude of what just happened began to sink in and our community would change forever,” Williams said.

Funeral services have been set for this week for the killed officers, Beshear said.

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