Barber County Sheriff sued in Sun City man's death

Posted: Updated:
Steven Myers Steven Myers

Months after Steven Myers was shot and killed by the Barber County Undersheriff, the sheriff himself is in the legal spotlight again.

Barber County hearing on video of Steven Myers death

A new wrongful death lawsuit was filed this week in U.S. District Court against Sheriff Lonnie Small. It’s being filed in the shooting death of Myers last fall, and accuses Small of not using reasonable force or appropriately training his employees the day Myers was killed.

Last fall, Undersheriff Virgil Brewer fired a beanbag round at close range which eventually killed Myers. Authorities had been looking for him after they received complaints that he had been threatening people with a gun. Myers’ family and their attorney said that he no longer had the alleged weapon by the time the sheriff’s deputies confronted him. Body camera video released in December also shows that Myers was unarmed when he was shot.

The new suit, filed earlier this week, claims Small is responsible for Myers death because he and his deputies are obligated to use reasonable force, accusing them of failing in that response the day Myers was killed.

It also accuses Small of not training Brewer and others in the use of “less than lethal weapons” appropriately, including the bean bag weapon used.

Attorneys are also arguing that the undersheriff had not been thoroughly trained in the department’s policies following previous court testimony where Brewer said he did not know the policies and procedures “inside and out.”

The Myers family is now asking for damages. 

Attorneys for Small did not return requests for comment.