The woman shot and killed by Shelby County Sheriff deputies called 911, made disturbing statements and threatened violence toward anyone who showed up, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
TBI held a news conference Friday evening on the deadly deputy-involved shooting.
A public information officer said around noon Friday, 59-year-old Nancy Lewellyn made a disturbing call to 911 from home in the 1000 block of Woodland Pine Cove West in Lakeland.
After three deputies responded, Lewellyn allegedly walked out and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at deputies. Two deputies shot her. Investigators discovered Lewellyn was holding a BB gun.
Lewellyn was taken to Regional One where she later died.
“Our folks are telling me that the BB gun looked an awful like a handgun. It was presumably very easy for the deputies to think that this was it more dangerous situation than a BB gun,” said Josh DeVine, TBI public information officer.
The two deputies who shot the 59-year-old were relieved of duty with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation. The deputies were not identified.
It is not clear if Lewellyn had a history of mental illness or if she was impaired leading up to the shooting.
Once TBI completes their investigation, they will turn their findings over to the Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. She will determine if the shooting was justifiable.