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Sheriff: Deputy was being strangled

Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-14 20:46:35-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Pima County Sheriff's Department released more information regarding an officer-involved shooting that killed a man on Friday, December 11.

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos said Deputy Travis Rice was sent to respond to a disturbance at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon. Sheriff Nanos said in a press conference on Monday, December 14, that the situation started as a theft call but Rice soon discovered it was a domestic violence situation.

Nanos said Rice approached 36-year-old Steven Wickert to ask him some questions. Nanos said Wickert then physically attacked the deputy, knocking him out. When the deputy woke up, Wickert was strangling him, said Nanos.

The fight escalated and the deputy shot the suspect. Nanos said Rice was fighting for his life.

Wickert was taken to Banner University Medical Center where he later died from his injures.

PCSD continues to investigate at this time.

PCSD says Rice has been employed with the Sheriff's Department for 3 years and 10 months. He started with PCSD as a Corrections Officer in February 2012. He was promoted to Deputy Sheriff and began the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy in January 2015 and graduated in May 2015. Rice completed his Field Training and was assigned to Rincon Patrol District as a Deputy in September 2015.

Stay with us for updates.