A lawsuit filed on behalf of the son of a woman who was fatally shot by Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies last year claims officers failed to use alternative methods of resolving the matter when she came out of her house with a weapon. The federal lawsuit seeks damages from the SCSO, asserting the woman was having a mental health crisis and was shot without warning her to drop the weapon.
Nancy Jane Lewellyn, 59, was shot on March 17, 2017 by deputies at the home of her son, Jason Cunningham in a Lakeland neighborhood near Canada Road and US-64. She had called 911 and said she planned to kill herself or the first person she saw, telling dispatchers she was armed with a .45 pistol. The weapon Ms. Lewellyn had turned out to be a BB gun.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spent several months investigating the fatal shooting and turned its files over to the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, which cleared the deputies of any criminal wrongdoing. Those investigative files have been released by the SCAG’s office and are available on its website.