Lance Storz is the 49-year-old Allen, Kentucky, man who is accused of shooting three law enforcement officers and a police K-9 to death on the evening of June 30, 2022.
Five other police officers and an emergency management director were wounded, according to Lex18.
The deceased law enforcement officers were identified as Captain Ralph Frasure and Officer Jacob Chaffins of the Prestonsburg Police Department and Deputy Will Petry of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Associated Press.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told WSAZ-TV that several officers were taken to different hospitals and the shooting “involves multiple victims from different agencies.”
“As reported earlier by different news media outlets, a deadly shooting has taken place tonight,” the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department wrote on its Twitter page. “An official statement from Sheriff will be released later. But for now he wants to thank everyone for your concern, texts, phone calls and most importantly your prayers. He asks that you please continue to pray for all of the men and women involved and the families who have suffered loss.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Officers ‘Encountered Pure Hell,’ the Sheriff Says
In an interview with WSAZ at the courthouse, Sheriff John Hunt said the shooting was “planned” and that officers “encountered pure hell when they arrived. They had no chance.”
They were trying to serve an emergency protection order in a domestic situation, according to Hunt. When they arrived, Storz opened fire, he said.
“When the deputies put out the call for help, the responding agencies, I guess, just entered the line of fire without even knowing where it was coming from. We were there for hours before we even knew where it was coming from,” said Hunt.
The suspect opened fire and then barricaded himself. The surviving officers’ conditions are not clear. WOWKtv reported that Floyd County deputies are among the victims.
“@ATFLouisville’s Ashland and London Offices are responding to a shooting scene and armed barricaded person in Floyd County, Kentucky. @kystatepolice is the point of contact and will release more information as it becomes available,” the ATF’s Louisville office wrote on Twitter.
Storz was arraigned on the morning of July 1, 2022, according to online court records for Kentucky.
Jail booking records show he is accused of two counts of murdering a police officer, five counts of attempted murder of a police officer, one count of attempted murder, and one count of first-degree assault on a service animal.
2. Storz Has Previous Ties to Florida, Washington State & Oregon
Online records show that Storz has past ties to Oregon. An old LinkedIn page from Vancouver, Washington, in the name Lance Storz declared Storz the “owner at underworld.” That appears to be a trucking company.
His full name is Lance Preston Storz. He has previous addresses in Florida, Washington State and Oregon. He has an old criminal case in Volusia County, Florida, for trying to take out a migrating bird with a shotgun, according to online records there. A woman filed an emergency order for child pickup against him in that state. The same woman filed an injunction for protection against him in 2008 in that county. In 1997, a complaint for eviction and damages was filed against him in that county.
Hodgenville Police Department wrote on Facebook, “Reports out of Floyd County KY say multiple law enforcement officers have been shot and the scene is still active. Please pray for our brothers tonight as they will surely need them.”
The Magoffin County Sheriff’s Department wrote, “Our hearts are heavy tonight. We would like to ask that you please pray for our fellow law enforcement officers and first responders who are dealing with the critical situation in Allen. Each day when an officer goes out, he never knows if he is going to make it back home. These are special people with a desire to put others lives ahead of their own. Please lift them up…they need you right now!”
3. Storz, Who Has 2 Past Bankruptcies, Is Accused of Using Multiple Weapons in the Rampage, Including a Rifle
Federal court records show that Storz had bankruptcies in 2015 and 2008 in Oregon and Florida. The most recent bankruptcy shows he had liabilities of more than $400,000 but assets of just over $2,600. A Chevy Astro van and fishing poles were among his few assets.
At that time, he had a daughter, age 1, and two sons, then ages 13 and 15.
People who live in the area posted videos to Facebook showing the massive law enforcement response. Helicopters flew overhead.
Storz is accused of using a rifle, but Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley told WSAZ the suspect used multiple weapons.
“There is no question this was a mass shooting,” Bartley told the television station in a joint interview with the sheriff. “When I saw it was a war zone, when I pulled into this area, you are talking about people in fatigues, people with body armor, people with night vision, people with assault weapons. If that’s not a war zone, I don’t know what is.”
Bartley said there was “lots of ammunition,” including “different caliber weapons. Smaller caliber, some large caliber, some shooting at extreme velocities. Ya know, very quick shooting.”
4. An Officer Hid Under a Car for Hours to Avoid Being Shot
According to Bartley’s interview with WSAZ, one officer is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning because he had to hide under a car for hours so he wouldn’t be shot. The police K-9 that died was in that vehicle when shot.
“There’s a special place in hell for people like this. And if there ain’t, there ought to be,” said Bartley.
WMDJ radio wrote on Facebook, “WMDJ has confirmed that at least one, possibly three different people have been shot. The shooter has barricaded himself inside a home in Old Allen which has resulted in a HOSTAGE SITUATION. The incident began after 4 p.m. as a domestic dispute.”
The incident was in fact not a hostage situation, according to police.
The post continued, “Kentucky State Police, the Floyd County Sheriffs Department and emergency personnel are currently on the scene in the city of Allen in response to an active shooting incident. KY Route 1428 between Citizens Bank of KY and Allen curve is currently closed at this time. The incident is reportedly on Main Street at this time.”
5. Storz’s Wife, Who Accused Him of Rape, Had Just Told Him She Found an Apartment
During a July 3 press conference, Hunt told reporters his department had received a call around 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, from a woman who “claimed to be a relative” of Storz’s wife and had received a text message from her saying she was “being held against her will” and being “abused” and “needed the police.”
Two deputies then conducted a welfare check at Storz’s residence at 49 Railroad Street in Allen, Kentucky, and found Storz’s wife outside waiting for them, Hunt said. She told them Lance Storz was in the house asleep “and she needed to get out of there,” he said.
During an interview with police, Hunt said, “the wife made some allegations of being a victim of some criminal activity that Lance Storz had been engaged in and doing with her over the last several weeks,” including not allowing her to use her phone, holding her hostage “for a number of days” and raping her. He said a physical examination supported the claims. Police then helped her file for an emergency protection order against her husband, Hunt said.
According to the motion for order of protection obtained by WSAZ, Storz was accused of rape and sodomy “and refused to let her leave the home after she told him she had been approved for an apartment.”
Four deputies returned to the residence later Thursday to serve Storz with the protection order and arrest him on assault charges related to his wife’s allegations, Hunt said, adding that the wife had warned police her husband had guns in the home. She told them he said “he had nothing to lose and was all in,” according to WSAZ.
When they arrived, Hunt said, the deputies saw Storz looking through the window blinds, “like he’d been waiting on them, he knew they were coming.” Petry approached the house first and was immediately killed when Storz opened the door and shot him, Hunt said.