Two police officers were killed and five injured after a man allegedly opened fire on them as they tried to investigate a domestic abuse complaint.
A police dog – K9 Drago – was also killed in the shooting, which lasted for hours, according to John Hunt, sheriff of Floyd County, a rural area in the US state of Kentucky.
“They didn’t stand a chance,” he said of the officers, adding that they were met with “pure hell” when they arrived at the scene.
Mr Hunt said four MPs went to the house on Thursday to serve a court-issued warrant.
After being shot, they called for help.
State police arrived and the man turned himself in after his family became involved in negotiations.
Mr Hunt said one of his deputies, William Petry, was killed, along with Prestonsburg Police Captain Ralph Frasure, a 39-year veteran of law enforcement.
Another Prestonsburg officer, Jacob Chaffins, is hospitalized, while the other injured officers have not been publicly named.
Lance Storz, 49, was arrested Thursday night and appeared in court Friday morning, pleading not guilty to two counts of murdering a police officer.
He also faces another charge of attempted murder and a charge of assaulting a service animal.
Court documents say Storz used a rifle to fire multiple bullets at officers at his home on Main Street in the town of Allen.
“Unimaginable heroism and sacrifice”
Attorney General Daniel Cameron said on social media that he was “heartbroken to learn of the deaths of two law enforcement officers”.
“Our law enforcement showed unimaginable heroism and sacrifice last night in the face of evil,” he added.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on social media: “Floyd County and our brave first responders suffered a tragic loss last night.
“I want to ask all of Kentucky to join me in praying for this community.
“It’s a tough morning for our Commonwealth.”