Man says he shot, killed brother-in-law to save sister from abuse

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Police say a Phoenix man admitted shooting and killing his brother-in-law on Easter Sunday, saying it was the only way to end the abuse he says his sister endured for years.

Officers responded to a home near 83rd Avenue and Indian School Road Sunday morning after a woman called 911 to report that her brother, Steven Lomax Jr., shot her husband, Richard Swann.

According to court paperwork, Lomax, 33, got on the phone with the 911 operator and admitted shooting Swann, even shooting him again while speaking with the operator.

Swann, 42, was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.

Police arrested Lomax without incident, at which time he told an officer, "I intended to kill my sister's husband."

Swann was found inside the home with multiple injuries. He was taken to a local hospital in extremely critical condition.

In talking with Lomax, police learned that he had decided that morning to kill his sister's husband and went so far as to make sure that nobody, including two children and his mother, would be there.

"Steven told the others in the residence to go for a walk, retrieved a handgun from his bedroom, went into Richard's bedroom with the intent to kill Richard and shot Richard multiple times," reads the probable cause state submitted by police.

That court paperwork went on to say that Lomax believes he was saving her sister from further abuse at the hands of her husband.

"Steven explained that he killed Richard because Richard had been mentally/ physcially [sic] abusing his sister ...  for years and this was the only means to end that cycle."

Lomax is now facing a first-degree murder charge, which requires premeditation. He is eligible for release on a secured appearance bond of $1 million.

A status conference was scheduled for April 8, followed by a preliminary hearing on April 10.

Click here to see video of Steven Lomax Jr. in court