MISCOMMUNICATION

Tennessee Police Fatally Shoot Woman Holding BB Gun

A woman was fatally shot Friday near Memphis after pointing a BB gun at sheriff’s deputies. The woman, identified as Nancy Jane Lewellyn, had reportedly called 911 and made disturbing statements and threats, saying she’d hurt anyone who came near her house in Lakeland. Three Shelby County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to her call, and she pulled out what police thought was a gun as she came out to meet them. Two of the deputies opened fire, killing her. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said the deputies realized only after they fired that Lewellyn was holding a BB gun, which looked “an awful lot” like a real gun, the Associated Press reported. “It was presumably very easy for these deputies to think that this was a more dangerous situation than a BB gun,” he said. The two deputies have been relieved of duty with pay while the bureau investigates the shooting. Their names have not been released. The incident marks the second fatal shooting by police in Tennessee in two days. On Thursday, a 36-year-old man was killed after trying to drive into deputies with his vehicle in Crockett County.