Centennial doctor murdered trying to help neighbor honored with Carnegie heroism medal

Posted at 10:30 AM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 12:30:24-04

DENVER – Dr. Kenneth Atkinson, the man shot and killed while trying to protect his neighbors from a gunman in Centennial in April 2016, is being honored posthumously with a Carnegie medal for heroism.

Atkinson is one of 19 people receiving the honor Monday for bravery, and one of four people being honored who died during his act of heroism.

Atkinson’s killer, Kevin Lyons, was sentenced June 4 to life in prison without parole, plus 352 years, for Atkinson’s murder and other charges related to the shooting.

Lyons shot his wife at their home in early April 2016. She ran out of the home and across the street, where other neighbors, including Atkinson, tried to help.

Atkinson was on the phone with 911 when Lyons shot him, first in the leg, then again from close range—a shot that killed him.

Lyons’ wife and another woman were both also wounded in the shooting.

After Atkinson’s death, those who worked with him at a Centennial clinic he ran said he had been committed to his patients for decades, and said he was a loving family man who would do anything for others.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has given out nearly 10,000 of the medals for heroism since 1904.