Deputy William Petry of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department is one of the three law enforcement officers who lost their lives, along with a police K9, to an active shooter in Allen, Kentucky.
Petry was remembered as a loving father and husband who was devoted to the community.
His wife Sherry wrote on Facebook, “Our Life’s will never be the same 💔💔” along with a graphic of the thin blue line. A person wrote on her comment thread, “Such a wonderful man, a good person all his life. He will truly be missed by everyone. Prayers for you Sherry and you family.”
Another friend wrote, “He truly died doing what he loved to do and that was to protect and serve his community!” Another declared, “He was the best of the best!” A neighbor wrote in a tribute, “William was an amazing person and our little neighborhood will never be the same.”
Five other police officers and an Emergency Management Director were wounded in the rampage, according to Lex18.
The deceased law enforcement officers were identified as Ralph Frasure of the Prestonsburg Police Department and Deputy Will Petry. Officer Jacob Chaffins also died.
“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. The department wrote that the sheriff wanted “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.”
The City of Prestonsburg declared the officers heroes on Facebook, writing, “RETURNING HEROS. We can confirm that our [heroes] Captain Ralph Frasure and Deputy William Petry are returning from Frankfort toward Martin via Kentucky 114, US 23 and Kentucky 80. They have been on the road for about thirty minutes if you would like to come out and show your respects. ”
Here’s what you need to know:
Petry’s Son Described Petry, a Retired Kentucky State Trooper, as the ‘Best Dad I Could Ever Ask For’
On Facebook, Petry wrote that he had studied at Prestonsburg Community College, went to Allen Central High School, lived in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, and was from Martin, Kentucky.
He also left behind a son. On Father’s Day, his son, Chase, wrote on Facebook, “Happy Fathers Day to the best Dad I could ever ask for. Thank you for always being there for me and pushing me to be the best I can!” After his father’s death, he shared a photo of the thin blue line.
On Facebook, Petry shared a picture of the World Trade Center buildings, jokes, and posts about escaped inmates.
“If you find a moment today, please keep the family, friends and co-workers of Retired Kentucky State Trooper and recent Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy, Worshipful Brother/ Noble William Petry in your thoughts and prayers,” Eddie Hazelett wrote on Facebook.
“He was shot and killed in the line of duty last evening serving his community. He was Past Master of John W. Hall Lodge No. 950 in Martin, KY. He was a Noble at Oleika Shrine Temple in Lexington, KY. I worked with William for several years in his capacity as a KSP Trooper and set in Lodge with him many times. He was a outstanding Man, husband, father, and Mason. Alas my Brother…🙏😢”
Petry Was Remembered as a ‘Protector of Our Community’
Tributes flowed for the fallen officers on social media.
“William Petry was a husband, father, grandfather, friend & a protector of our community. He was a wonderful man,” a woman wrote on Facebook. “I’ll never forget a day he came in the studio to help out with a fundraiser for Trooper Island & when he left he stopped and saluted a picture I had hanging on the wall of my grandfather. That moment will forever be in my memory..”
Brandy Broce posted a collage of photos as tribute to all of the fallen and wounded and wrote:
The City of Prestonsburg wishes to thank everyone for the show of support and community outpouring of love. We will hold our fellow employees up with the reverence they deserve. We have lost a long-time friend and a 39-year veteran of Law Enforcement in Floyd County, Ralph Frasure, who has left so many loved ones. Another officer, Jacob Chaffins, just beginning a career in Law Enforcement, is currently in the hospital with a grieving young wife and daughter. We also hold up our first responder friends in EMS and the Floyd County Sheriff’s office who were there in the fray, protecting the public from such a coward. We will try to keep the public aware as things are developing.
The devastation in my hometown late yesterday evening has truly devastated alot of us, heart broken and a loss of words, we have lost 2 truly wonderful men in our community…They protected us daily from evil in this world, but evil decided to take them from their families and us…..please pray for the families of William Petry and Ralph Frasure and our community as we all go through these trying days….Continue prayers for another whom I know as well 🙏🏻
People offered additional tributes on the comment thread of Petry’s wife. “William came to my aid recently with compassion and kindness… what a great person…” wrote one.
“William was an amazing heroic man of God!!” wrote another.
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.
“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.
The suspect, Lance 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.
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!”
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.”