LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A church break-in escalated into a deadly confrontation in a small Kentucky town Friday when the suspect refused multiple commands to drop a crowbar and advanced toward a deputy sheriff who opened fire, killing the man, police said.
Three alleged accomplices serving as lookouts were arrested, Kentucky State Police said.
The shooting occurred early Friday at Simpsonville Baptist Church, which was also broken into the night before, state police spokesman Trooper Bernis Napier said. The dead man and his alleged sidekicks are suspected in Thursday's break-in, he said.
Security personnel posted by the church alerted authorities about the second break-in shortly before 3 a.m. Friday, Napier said.
The watchmen did not try to subdue the suspect and waited for police, he said.
Three Shelby County deputies soon arrived. Two searched separately inside the church while the other searched outside, Napier said.
One deputy found the suspect, who was carrying a crowbar, Napier said.
"He was advancing in the direction of the deputy, and the deputy was telling him to drop the crowbar and he was not complying with that command," Napier said in a phone interview.
The suspect advanced within "close proximity" of the deputy when the lawman opened fire, he said.
Police identified the suspect who died as Dylan M. Dalzell, 22, of Shelbyville, Kentucky.
The deputy who opened fire has not been identified. The deputy was placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with Shelby County sheriff's office policy, state police said.
Dalzell, who was white, died at the church, about 25 miles east of downtown Louisville.
Two other suspects — Steven A. Mathus, 29, and Chastity R. Heitzman, 27, both of Shelbyville — were charged with first-degree burglary and receiving stolen property under $500, Napier said. Courtney L. Eggen, 27, of Shelbyville, was charged with first-degree burglary, he said.
The three were posted as lookouts outside the church, Napier said. Other charges are pending before a grand jury, he said.
A page on Facebook appears to have been Dalzell's. He lists Eggen as his partner and identifies Shelbyville as his hometown.
He posted an ominous update six years ago: "I'm afraid of three things: Women, spiders and the police," it reads. "They all have the ability to hurt me and make it look like it was my fault."
The church posted on Facebook that the suspect broke into the older church building on its grounds.
"Please continue to pray for all involved, the family of the man who was shot, the police officer and others involved," the church said.
Napier said he didn't know what was taken from the church during the Thursday break-in.
Associated Press writer Claire Galofaro in Louisville contributed to this report.