09/29/2009

Kan. sheriff's deputy ambushed, fatally shot

Editor's Note: "There are no routine calls" … "Expect the unexpected" … "Draw and move laterally to cover" ... Axioms like these — while true and helpful and fundamental — all seem to ring hollow when a 26-year-old husband and father is slain in an ambush. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Deputy Brian Etheridge. To all the nation’s police officers who continue the fight in his stead, we stand beside you.

The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — It started shortly before noon Monday with the report of a theft, a seemingly routine call. It ended with a Sedgwick County sheriff's deputy dead from gunshot wounds and a suspect dead after exchanging gunfire with officers.

It was too early Monday night to say how and why it occurred, Sheriff Bob Hinshaw said. The slain deputy, Brian S. Etheridge, was an "excellent deputy," Hinshaw said. He had spent a little more than a year with the Sheriff's Office. He was 26. He leaves a wife and a small child. The 27-year-old suspect's name was not released.

Hundreds of people turned out to Old Town Square after 9 p.m. for a candlelight vigil for the slain deputy. "This is the least we can do for the family," said Kevin Lackey, an officer with the Eastborough Police Department who was in the first wave of officers to arrive at the crime scene Monday afternoon.

Read full story: Sheriff plans briefing on investigation into deputy's shooting death

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