April 23, 2013
A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.
The two officers, 25-year-old Kyle Shedran and 24-year-old Greg Day, were placed on administrative leave with pay.
“They need to get rid of those men, boys with toys,” said Adams’ 70-year-old widow, Loraine.
John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police.
“I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,” she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday’s funeral.
Police say her husband fired first with a sawed-off shotgun and they responded. He was shot at least three times and died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Loraine Adams said she was handcuffed and thrown to her knees in another room when the shooting began.
“I said, ‘Y’all have got the wrong person, you’ve got the wrong place. What are you looking for?“‘
“We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made,” Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks said. “It’s a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again.” He said, however, the two policemen were not at fault.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating. NAACP officials said they are monitoring the case. Adams was black. The two policemen are white.
Family members did not consider race a factor and Weeks agreed, but said the shooting will be “a major setback” for police relations with the black community.
“We know that, we hope to do everything we can to heal it,” Weeks said.
Johnny Crudup, a local NAACP official, said the organization wanted to make sure and would investigate on its own.
Weeks said he has turned the search warrant and all other evidence over to the bureau of investigation and District Attorney General Tommy Thompson. A command officer must now review all search warrants.
No one deserves to die during a drug raid. This story is heartbreaking & it’s not all that uncommon.