Doctor Killed Trying to Help Neighbor Gets Heroism Medal

Carnegie Hero Fund Commission is honoring 19 heroes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 19, 2017 12:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Colorado physician who was fatally shot while trying to help his neighbor after she was wounded in a domestic shooting is one of 19 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism, the AP reports. Dr. Kenneth R. Atkinson, 65, ran out of his Centennial home when he heard a neighbor shooting at his wife and another woman, whose home the wife had run to for cover on April 4, 2016. As Atkinson kneeled to attend to his wounded neighbor and called 911, he was shot by the suspect in the leg, and then fatally shot as he tried to take cover behind a vehicle. The shooting suspect, Kevin Lee Lyons, pleaded not guilty in March to 14 charges, including first-degree murder.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. Three others honored Monday died in rescue attempts, including Sean C. Randles, 49, of Las Vegas. He died on May 28, 2016, when he tried to save a hiker from falling over a 50-foot cliff when she slipped in a stream at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. He grabbed the woman's hand in an attempt to save her, before both fell to their deaths. Another person being honored is Brian G. Bergkamp, 24, of Cheney, Kansas, who drowned trying to help a 26-year-old woman whose kayak went over a dam and overturned in July 2016. She survived. (Read more Carnegie Hero Medals stories.)

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