‘This is going to hurt for a long time.’ Officials identify KY officers killed in shooting

·6 min read
‘They encountered pure hell.’ Sheriff says man who killed KY cops opened fire without warning

The law enforcement officers who were killed in a deadly shooting in Floyd County on Thursday night have been identified.

According to the Prestonsburg Police Department’s Facebook page, Captain Ralph Frasure and Deputy William Petry were the victims from the fatal shooting. The city said the two fallen officers were being returned to Floyd County from Frankfort Thursday afternoon.

Late Friday night, the Prestonsburg Police Department announced that Canine Handler Jacob Chaffins, who had been with the department for three years, had also died. His body was being transported back to Floyd County Saturday afternoon, and the police department asked in a Facebook post for people to “come out and give this true hero the reception he deserves” along the route.

Before his death, Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton said in a Facebook post that Chaffins was in the hospital “with a grieving young wife and daughter.”

An outpouring of support for Frasure, Petry, Chaffins and everyone impacted by the tragic shooting has been shared across social media platforms since news of the shooting began to spread. Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt thanked everyone for their thoughts and messages and asked people to pray for the ones affected by the shooting.

Kentucky State Police said Friday afternoon that in addition to the officers who were killed, four others had been injured. Two of them still in the hospital in stable condition Saturday, along with a civilian who was hurt in the incident.

State police said Saturday that a police dog, Drago, a “German Shepherd drug detection canine” who had been with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office for six years, was also killed in the shooting.

‘A tragic loss’

Gov. Andy Beshear sent two tweets about Floyd County Friday, the latest asking for people in Kentucky to pray for the small community.

“Floyd County and our brave first responders suffered a tragic loss last night,” Beshear said in a tweet. “I want to ask all of Kentucky to join me in praying for this community. This is a tough morning for our commonwealth.”

He reiterated that in a statement Saturday, after Chaffins’ death was announced.

“This is another hard morning for Kentucky as we mourn the loss of three brave officers and a K-9 who gave their lives while protecting the people of Floyd County,” Beshear said. “Britainy and I ask the commonwealth to join us in praying for the family and loved ones of Captain Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry and Officer Jacob Chaffins. Let us stand together in honoring these heroes and their sacrifice, and pray for a full recovery for those injured.”

Other state political figures expressed condolences on social media, including Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

“As we learn more about the tragic shooting in Allen last night, we are heartbroken to learn of the deaths of two law enforcement officers and injuries to others,” Cameron said in a tweet.

Several Kentucky police agencies, including the Lexington Police Department, University of Kentucky Police Department, Louisville Metro Police Department and Georgetown Police Department, offered their thoughts and condolences on Facebook.

“The Lexington Police Department had and has personnel in place to assist in any way possible,” said Sgt. Guy Miller. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved.”

U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier, the lead federal prosecutor for the eastern half of Kentucky, released a statement showing support for the Floyd County community.

“As the investigation of this incident progresses, we stand with our local and state law enforcement partners,” Shier said. “We are offering our support and our federal resources to assist them in their investigation of this shooting.”

Senate mountain legislators said in a statement, “as mountain senators and fervent supporters of our law enforcement and first responders, our hearts ache for the families and loved ones of Kentucky State Police Post 9, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, the Prestonsburg Police Department and the Allen Fire Department.

“The heroic law enforcement officers who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty last night represented the best of eastern Kentucky.”

‘This is going to hurt for a long time.’

Steve Parker, a former Prestonsburg police officer, said his hometown will never be the same after Thursday’s shooting.

“Our town back home in Prestonsburg, being a smaller, tight-knit community, this is going to hurt for a long time,” Parker said.

As a former Prestonsburg police officer, Parker knew Petry and Frasure. He said Petry, a former Prestonsburg police officer and retired state police trooper, was a kind person as well as the rest of his family.

“Just the best people you’d ever want to meet,” Parker said.

State police said in a news release Saturday that Petry spent 31 years in law enforcement, including two years with Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, 15 years with KSP and 14 years with Prestonsburg Police Department.

Petry was also the fire chief for the city of Martin, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon.

“We have lost a true leader, an excellent officer, a wonderful person and our beloved friend. The FCSO will never be the same. Our hearts are broken,” the post stated.

Frasure had been with the Prestonsburg Police Department for nearly 40 years and was just recently promoted to captain. Parker described Frasure as a jokester.

“Him and another officer that retired from Prestonsburg, Gerald Clark, when those two were together, you never knew what was going to happen,” Parker said while chuckling.

Parker said Petry and Frasure were instrumental in him beginning his career in law enforcement after working as a dispatcher and a firefighter. Parker said they both were very knowledgable at their job and did it the right way.

“Whenever business needed to be taken care of, those were two of the best guys you wanted to have with you,” Parker said. “They did it right and no corners were ever cut that I ever saw.”

The man accused of killing the officers is Lance Storz, 49. He was booked into the Pike County jail early Friday morning and is facing two charges of murder of a police officer, four counts of attempted murder of a police officer, one additional count of attempted murder and one count of assault on a service animal, according to court records.

According to court documents, Storz opened fire on officers with a rifle at his residence on Main Street in Allen. Law enforcement officers were attempting to serve an emergency protective order on Storz when the shooting occurred, according to local officials.

Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward contributed to this report.

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