No criminal charges will be filed against the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies involved in the fatal shooting last December of an Arlington man, according to Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich on Monday.
The two deputies fired shots that killed 48-year-old Jimmy Lee Lawson on Dec. 17, 2016, while they were responding to a domestic violence call at his residence on Osborn Road in Arlington.
According to a report compiled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Lawson was running at the deputies with his arm raised while holding a knife. The deputies both fired when he disregarded their command to drop the weapon and get on the ground.
Lawson was shot once in the abdomen and once in the chest. A black-handled steak knife was recovered near his body. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.322.
“It was a tragic situation for everyone,” Weirich said. “The officers had only seconds to react and had no other choice, yet they will have to live with that night the rest of their lives. Mr. Lawson’s family has suffered the loss of someone very important in their lives.”
The decision not to file criminal charges was made following a review of the investigative report on the shooting compiled by the TBI’s Violent Crime Response Team. The report can be found at scdag.com.
By law, TBI reports on incidents before May 4 of this year are not open to the public without a subpoena or a court order. Chancery Court recently granted Weirich’s petition to make the file public. A new law now allows such reports to be made public without a court order.
All fatal shootings involving officers of the Memphis Police Department or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are investigated by the TBI, according to a memorandum of understanding signed in 2015 by those parties and Weirich.