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Lapsley was prepared if Deputy Hendrix's killer was on the loose

After sharing the story of his recovery from a rare and life-threatening immune system disorder, Commissioner Bill Lapsley matched it with another dramatic story of preparing to defend his family against a potential violent criminal.

A week into his affliction with a rare and, at the time, still undiagnosed medical condition, Lapsley was sitting at his kitchen table early in the morning "concerned about my health condition when I received a text message from Manager (Steve) Wyatt" advising him that a deputy had been shot in the line of duty. When Lapsley asked where it was, Wyatt told him Piney Ridge Drive, only a half mile away through a patch of woods from Lapsley home. Although the burglary suspect who shot and killed Deputy Ryan Hendrix was shot dead by two other deputies, it was unknown at the time whether anyone else was involved.

"My anxiety level jumped up another notch thinking quickly of my friend Tommy Bryson, who was abdicted and killed by a similar violent criminal several years ago," he said. "Could a second person be heading through the woods in my direction and end up at my front door any minute?" Emphasizing in his recounting of the story that he was exercising his Second Amendment right, he retrieved his personal firearms to protect my and home and wife. Fortunately, several hours later Manager Wyatt let me know the sheriff had advised there was only one perpetrator and that he had been taken out."

In his absence, the Board of Commissioners voted to name the sheriff's office headquarters for Deputy Hendrix, "a fitting and reasonable means of showing our gratitude to Ryan and his family for years in the future." Also while he was hospitalized and in rehab, the board also named the Human Services Center for Charlie Messer, who died in July in his 20th year of service as a county commissioner.

"I want to go on record that I totally support this action and express my gratitude to Charlie's family for sharing so many years of his life as a leader and mentor in our community," he said.