Two law enforcement officers were killed, and four other officers were shot Thursday night after a man barricaded in his home opened fire with a rifle in Allen, Kentucky, a rural town so small that it lacks its own police force, authorities said.
The Kentucky State Police, which is investigating the shooting, said that another person who is not an officer had also been shot during the episode and that a police dog had been struck and killed. An additional officer suffered an injury unrelated to gunfire, Capt Paul Blanton of the Kentucky State Police said in an interview.
The law enforcement officers who were killed were identified by authorities Friday as Capt Ralph Frasure of the Prestonsburg Police Department and Deputy William Petry of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department.
Three of the officers who were shot remained in the hospital Friday, one of them in critical condition and two in stable condition, authorities said. One was treated and released. The non-officer was receiving medical care at a hospital, but a precise condition was not immediately known.
Police arrested Lance P Storz, 49, who faces several charges, including murder, attempted murder and assault on a service animal, according to an arrest citation. The circumstances that led to the shooting are still unclear, Blanton said.
“We don’t know exactly why the police officers and sheriff’s deputies were there,” he said. “I’ve seen both that they were there to serve a warrant on him, but I’ve also seen that they were there to serve a protection order against him. We don’t know.”
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, police received a complaint Thursday that Storz had assaulted a woman, who had obtained an emergency protection order that officers were trying to serve to Storz.
Sheriff John Hunt of Floyd County told the Herald-Leader that it appeared that Storz had been waiting for officers and had opened fire without warning.
“They encountered pure hell,” Hunt said. “They had no chance.”
Allen, a town of fewer than 200 residents about 120 miles east of Lexington, does not have its own police force, so officers from nearby agencies, including the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department and the Prestonsburg Police Department, responded to the home, authorities said.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.