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Three police officers killed in Kentucky by suspect with rifle

ALLEN, KENTUCKY (AP) – Three law enforcement officers were killed and five wounded in eastern Kentucky when a man with a rifle opened fire on police attempting to serve a warrant, authorities said.

Police took 49-year-old Lance Storz into custody on Thursday night after an hourslong standoff at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia.

An emergency management official was also injured and a police dog was killed, according to the arrest citation.

The responding officers encountered “pure evil” when they arrived on the scene, Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told reporters on Friday.

“They had no chance,” he said.

Hunt said four deputies initially responded, then called for backup when they were shot at. The sheriff said Storz surrendered after negotiations that included his family members. Hunt told local media the deputies were serving a court-issued warrant related to a domestic violence situation.

Hunt said one of his deputies, William Petry, and Prestonsburg Police Captain Ralph Frasure were killed in the shooting.

Frasure worked for 39 years in law enforcement in Floyd County. Another Prestonsburg officer, Jacob Chaffins, died after being hospitalised, the police department said in a social media post yesterday.

Storz was arraigned on Friday by a judge in Pike County. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder of a police officer and was jailed on a USD10 million bond.

One of the charges was originally attempted murder of a police officer, but a judge said at the hearing that was upgraded to murder.

He is also facing another attempted murder charge and assault on a service animal.