Deadly Hebron shooting was in self defense, attorney for alleged shooter argues

October 29, 2018

A 21-year-old man arrested in connection with a fatal shooting early Saturday in Hebron had called 911 reporting he shot two people during a break-in at his home following an argument earlier that morning, investigators said in court documents.

Michael Lewis was arrested Sunday on suspicion of first-degree assault and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and taken to the Thayer County jail.

Monday afternoon, Lewis’ attorney Ben Murray called the shooting tragic but said his client acted in self-defense.

“It is tragic that someone died, but not every death is the result of a crime,” Murray said in an email.

Rescue crews called to Lewis’ home at 3:24 a.m. Saturday found Reuben Elting and Remington Elting, both of Davenport, had suffered gunshot wounds.

Remington Elting, 28, was taken to the local hospital and pronounced dead. Reuben Elting, 33, was flown via medical helicopter to Bryan West Campus in Lincoln, where he remained in critical condition Monday, Nebraska State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said.

State Patrol Investigator Nicholas Frederick said Lewis told investigators Sunday he awoke to banging on his front door and saw a man who asked him if he was “Michael” or “Cody” then tried to push open his door.

Lewis locked the door, he told Frederick, got a 9 mm handgun and told the man outside he had a gun.

Someone began banging on the side door to his home, Frederick said, and Lewis opened the door and saw Remington Elting, who grabbed him by the shirt.

Lewis pushed away Remington Elting, his former coworker, and tried to talk with him but a fight ensued, the investigator said.

Lewis shot him during the fight, and while he was on his knees, Reuben Elting came around the house, according to an affidavit for his arrest.

Lewis pointed the handgun at Reuben Elting, yelled for him to stop and then fired a shot, Frederick said.

“Lewis did not know if he hit Reuben or not,” the investigator said.

Two hours earlier, Thayer County sheriff’s deputies were called to Reuben Elting’s home in Davenport after someone reported Lewis had pointed a handgun at someone during a confrontation and also fired two shots into the air.

“Individuals reported to be responsible for the assault and brandishing the firearm were no longer present upon the arrival of the deputies, so (they) concluded they would continue the investigation and obtain arrest warrants later, if necessary,” the State Patrol investigator said.

Lewis appeared in Thayer County Court on Monday afternoon, and a judge set his bond at $250,000.

Murray said his client looks forward to his day in court.

“Those men didn’t show up at his house with good intentions, and yet Michael is being charged for the result of their actions,” Murray said. “If they hadn’t gone to that house none of this would have happened.”

Further charges could be added pending further investigation, Thomas said in a news release.