KENTUCKY — Three police officers have been shot dead in the US state of Kentucky while trying to serve a warrant on a man accused of domestic violence.
Police took the 49-year-old suspect into custody after the shooting.
Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt said the officers had faced “pure hell” when they arrived at the man’s home.
Four other people were injured at the scene in Allen, a small town in a mountainous part of eastern Kentucky with a population of just 166.
The officers who died in the shooting late on Thursday have been named as Capt. Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry and dog handler Jacob Chaffins.
K9 Drago, one of the dogs that Chaffins handled, also died.
Capt. Frasure had been with the Prestonsburg, Kentucky, Police Department for 39 years. The department said he had served “with honor and glory up until the last second”.
The men ran into a barrage of gunfire from a rifle when they went to the house on Main Street shortly before 19:00 local time (midnight GMT).
The shooting continued for nearly three hours before suspect Lance Storz was taken into custody, having surrendered after negotiations involving members of his family.
He has been charged with 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.
“This is a tough morning for our commonwealth,” Kentucky state governor Andy Beshear said in a social media post.
“Floyd County and our brave first responders suffered a tragic loss last night.”
Kentucky State Police troopers are leading an investigation into the shooting. — BBC