Pubdate: Fri,  6 Oct 2000
Source: Tennessean, The (TN)
Copyright: 2000 The Tennessean
Contact:  1100 Broadway, Nashville TN 37203
Fax: (615) 726-8928
Author: Warren Duzak, Staff Writer


LEBANON -- About 10 p.m. Wednesday, John Adams, 64, settled into his
tan recliner to watch television for the last time, his cane within
easy reach.

At that moment outside Adams' door, Lebanon police officers Kyle
Shedran, 25, and Greg Day, 24, stood armed and prepared for the worst.

In the darkness, five to seven other officers were there for

Shedran and Day knocked. Adams' wife, Loriane, 61, moved to the

In the next moment, everyone's lives changed forever, victims of a
horrendous mistake.

Day and Shedran were at the wrong house and knocking on the wrong

"It was a severe, costly mistake," Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks
said at an afternoon news conference yesterday. ''They were not the
target of our investigation. We hate that it happened."

By then John Adams had been dead more than 12 hours, shot to death by
Shedran and Day after, they said, Adams shot at them with a sawed-off

Friends and relatives said John Adams believed it was a home invasion
when police kicked in the door after refusing to identify themselves.

"They made a mistake, and he was trying to defend his home, and they
shot him," said Edward Bell, Adams' nephew.

Others were not prepared to offer even a hint of understanding.

"They murdered my best friend," said former Wilson County Commissioner
Natchel Palmer. "They got the wrong damn house and killed my friend."

Police details of what happened in the Adams' house at 70 Joseph St.
were sketchy. Weeks said he has called in the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation to conduct the investigation.

Even the arrest warrant, which had the right address but the wrong
description of the home, is in TBI possession, Weeks said.

Loriane Adams' explanation has been filtered through

"I don't want to go through it again," she said yesterday, sitting on
the front deck of her home, surrounded by friends and family, all
angry with the police.

"He believed in the system, and the system let him down," said Star
Moore, sister of the dead man.

Bell said his aunt told him police knocked but would not identify
themselves when she asked who they were.

They knocked again, and she asked again who it was.

Then they broke down the door, handcuffed Loriane Adams and went
around the corner where John Adams sat and shot him several times,
Bell said.

Adams was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt University
Medical Center, where he died in surgery about 1:30 a.m. yesterday,
Vanderbilt officials said.

Family members deny Adams shot at police.

Investigators had cut out a large chunk from one wall in the house as

Police were looking for someone living in the house next door, the
only other home on the short street.

Residents there refused to allow a reporter on the property

Weeks said the intended house was known to police. It had been under
police surveillance and a drug purchase had been made from one of the
residents, he said. That was the basis for the warrant.

One of the officers who accompanied Day and Shedran had participated
in the surveillance, Weeks said. But he would not identify the officer
and had no explanation for the misidentification.

Day and Shedran, both described in their evaluations as competent and
sometime exemplary officers, were on paid administrative leave
yesterday, pending the outcome of the TBI investigation.

The Adams family gathered to make funeral arrangements.

Palmer sat on the bottom steps, his face buried in a white

When the former commissioner was not crying, he was angrily talking to
himself, asking how such a mistake could be made.

"Why do you have to die because somebody doesn't know what they are
doing?" Palmer asked. "They killed him for nothing. I can't believe
John is gone."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake