3 Metro officers face disciplinary action after Buena Vista officer-involved shooting

Lee, Wells, Boone.

Photos: Metro Police

Three Metro Police supervisors face disciplinary action for "poor decision making" and "failure to carry out leadership roles" after an officer-involved shooting in the Buena Vista area on October 5, 2018.

Suspect Sershawn Martez Dillon was killed in the shooting and Metro Police Officer Samuel Galluzzi, 24, was shot in his thigh and ankle.

The Metro Nashville Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability recommended that Lieutenant Viviyonne Lee, who on October 5 was the North Precinct’s evening shift supervisor, be demoted to police officer and receive a 20-day suspension. It was also recommended that Sergeant Harold Wells, who on October 5 was a North Precinct district supervisor, be demoted to police officer. The third supervisor, Sergeant James Boone, has been recommended for a five-day suspension.

Lee and Wells have until late February to accept the recommendations or request formal departmental disciplinary hearings. According to Metro Police, Lee and Wells have both been on administrative assignment since the night of the shooting.

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The Office of Professional Accountability's investigation determined that if the supervisors had used all of the information available to them on Oct. 5, Officer Galluzzi's injury may have been avoided.

“This report finds no failure of policy or training, but rather a failure to use the training and policy knowledge these supervisors had,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “MNPD supervisors throughout the city are making correct decisions virtually every minute of the day in accordance with the continuous training they receive. Decision-making lapses and errors in a case like this, though extraordinarily rare, are very serious and are being treated as such."

On October 5, officers Galluzzi and John Petriello were sent to help two officers working an off-duty secondary assignment in the Cumberland Pointe apartment complex about a man believed to have been involved in a shots fired call, assaulted a woman, then entered a stranger's apartment.

Metro Police say Galluzzi called Wells with concerns about the situation. Wells reportedly then told Lee. Investigators said the two supervisors did not immediately come to the scene and instead told Galluzzi that if he had no further information to write a report and check back into service.

The concerned officer then phoned another sergeant, James Boone. He told Galluzzi to request a North Precinct detective to respond to the scene to help out, according to police.

The Office of Professional Accountability's investigation said after a detective arrived at the apartment complex, Lee, Wells and Boone decided to head there and "a continuing lack of communication between the supervisors, their officers and witnesses" happened on the scene.

While victims were trapped inside the apartment, Lee chose to advance on the apartment instead of calling for specialized SWAT response, a move criticized by one of the women held inside the unit.

Tameika Parker told FOX 17 News she ran into her unit with her 12-year-old daughter and two other female neighbors when she heard that a gunman was going to start shooting in the neighborhood. Turns out, they weren't alone.

Parker said Dillon snuck into the apartment and took their phones then tried to make the 12-year-old girl to take her clothes off, but Parker said she would not let that happen. Parker said Dillon then forced another woman to take her clothes off and perform a sexual act.

She said the three women and the teen were held against their will for about two and a half hours before police intervened.

As Lee used the pass key to open the apartment door, suspected gunman Sershawn Martez Dillon, 30, reportedly fired his pistol and ran out of the apartment, causing officers to move for cover. The detective and Officer Petriello fired shots at Dillon, who died from his injuries.

Galluzzi was then hit in the leg and ankle during the gunfire and rushed to the hospital. He was later released.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called to handle the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The Office of Professional Accountability investigation happened with TBI's permission, according to Metro Police.

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