‘They were defending the community,’ Vigil honors officers killed in Floyd County ambush
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A small group of community members gathered Friday night near the scene of the deadly ambush in Floyd County to honor those officers.
Community members said they plan to pray every night as long as officers are still recovering in hospitals.
“When something like this happens, you know, it’s just a tragic event. We never dream of anything like that happening in a small town like this. Everybody knew each other and we’re always willing to help any way that we could,” said Roger Rowe, the pastor at Old Time Country Church.
The tight-knit community of Allen is trying to come to terms with the unthinkable series of events Thursday night when two officers were killed and six others injured.
The Floyd County sheriff says deputies were serving a domestic violence order when Prestonsburg Police Captain Ralph Frasure and Floyd County Deputy William Petry were killed. A third officer, Jacob R. Chaffins, died at the hospital on July 1. Five others were also shot and hurt.
“They were defending the community and their county. They were performing their job duties. It takes brave, special people to do what they were doing to start with. I look at each one of them as heroes,” said Rowe.
They’re also dear friends to Pastor Roger Rowe and Chaplain Joshua Ratcliff.
“It’s someone who’s risking everything they have. It shows this can happen at any time at any place. You never know. Even something as simple as serving a warrant could turn into this situation. It’s things officers do every day,” said Ratcliff.
Rowe and Ratcliff lead a small group in prayer Friday night.
“Our church, every evening, will be praying for these families until they can get a little bit of relief from the hurt and the pain,” said Rowe.
They’re thanking nearby communities for calling off Fourth of July celebrations to mourn with Floyd County.
“Something that’s hard to swallow because now all the [nearby] communities have stopped their Fourth of July celebrations to mourn with us. That’s something I’ve just been so appreciative of,” said Ratcliff.
The Mountain Arts Center is welcoming grief counselors in the coming days to help first responders and anyone in the community to heal.
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