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Shooting by officers ruled justified in Sedgwick County sheriff's Deputy Brian Etheridge case

Brian Etheridge, Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputy killed on duty September 28, 2009.   courtesy photo
Brian Etheridge, Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputy killed on duty September 28, 2009. courtesy photo

WICHITA — The Sept. 28 shooting death of the man who shot and killed Sedgwick County sheriff's Deputy Brian Etheridge was justified, District Attorney Nola Foulston said in a statement released this afternoon.

"The use of force by the three officers against Richard Lyons did not constitute an unlawful use of force," the statement said. "The firing at Lyons while he continued to pose a lethal threat was a reasonable use of deadly force to protect themselves and others against his planned and premeditated intent to kill officers of the law."

Etheridge, 26, was shot twice while responding to a theft report outside a house on Rock Road across from McConnell Air Force Base. He died later that day at Wesley Medical Center.

Lyons, 27, died early that evening in an exchange of gunfire with officers in a field near the house.

Investigators said Lyons apparently made up the theft report to lure an officer to the scene, then hid in the backyard and fired on Etheridge, the deputy who happened to respond.

For more on this story, see Thursday's Eagle.

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