Best friend remembers slain doctor’s selfless acts of kindness

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CENTENNIAL, Colo.-- The man accused of opening fire on his neighbors and killing one person on Monday agreed to a news conference from jail Thursday. But just minutes before the interview was to begin, a judge told the suspect he could not talk to the media.

Kevin Lyons is accused of killing Dr. Ken Atkinson and shooting two others outside his home Monday afternoon. He is being held at the Arapahoe County Detention Center.

Lyons was to appear via courtroom video, which allows the media to see and hear him from a separate room through a camera and microphone. About 10 minutes before the scheduled 6 p.m. interview, the public defender’s office filed an emergency injunction to stop it.

The motion states Lyons’ legal team needed to speak with him to evaluate his mental health before he could be allowed to speak to the media.

Because of the scheduling of the interview, his lawyers would not be able to speak with him until after the news conference. A judge ordered a stay on the motion, meaning the judge did not rule one way or the other. No interviews will take place until after the judge rules.

On Wednesday, attempts were made to let the victims and their families know of the interview, including with Laurie Jeurgens, one of the two women who were shot.

She was not ready to speak with media. Atkinson's family also declined an interview. The third person who was shot is Lyons’ wife Elizabeth Lyons, who could not be contacted.

Brad Meuli said he was best friends with Atkinson. The two met several years ago through church.

“It’s just a huge loss in our community to lose someone who is so unselfish and just really wanted to make this world a better place,” he said.

Meuli said Atkinson would often see patients for free if they could not afford it. Once he even saw Meuli’s child on Christmas Eve.

Meuli had no comment on the fact Lyons wanted to speak to the media. He said there is only one thing people need to know about what happened that day: That his friend acted bravely and selflessly.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that he ran outside to help two women that were in trouble. This is exactly the kind of guy that he is,” Mueli said as he became emotional. "He’s a man that I want to be like.”​

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