Wichitans pray, pay tribute to deputy

Dozens of Wichitans came together Sunday to pay tribute to Brian Etheridge, the sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty Sept. 28.

"We cry out. We cry out against the violence and hostility that took the life of sheriff's Deputy Brian Etheridge as he served in the cause of safety for us all," said the Rev. Sally Fahrenthold, a retired Lutheran minister. "We pray for Brian's colleagues and friends ... that they may be comforted in the midst of these terrible times with the love and support of one another in this community."

The public gathering, held in the Broadview Hotel Sunday, included Etheridge's wife, Sarah, who was surrounded by a handful of family and friends, and Sedgwick County Sheriff Bob Hinshaw.

"It awakened a great deal of concern in the community and we felt we needed to respond," said Rev. Dave Fulton, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, who organized the event. "It is appropriate for us to be in prayer for the Etheridge family, for his callings, for all of law enforcement and firefighters, as well."

Fulton said he wanted people to remember not only the service Etheridge offered, but to honor the service of all people in law enforcement and firefighting in Sedgwick County.