Family of man killed in Shannon Street incident looking to reopen case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Family of man killed in Shannon Street incident looking to reopen case

The standoff on Shannon Avenue began January 11, 1983, when members of a Christian cult took a Memphis police officer hostage. 

30 hours later when police stormed their hideout, patrolman Bob Hester had already been tortured and killed. 
    
"The night is I guess is burned in my memory," police director Larry Godwin said.
 
Back then Memphis, Godwin was a member of the police tactical unit. 

"You thought we'll resolve this they'll let him out," Godwin said.

But the negotiations didn't go as planned. 

During the siege, officers shot and killed seven men who refused to surrender and began firing at them. 

Among the dead was Lindberg Sanders.  A religious fanatic with a history of mental illness who believed police officers were agents of the devil. 
    
Days after the incident police were called into question.

Questions like "why didn't they move in when the officer could be heard crying for help?" were asked.

There have always been questions about whether the shooting deaths of the 7 men inside the house were justifiable or just the work of an over zealous police department that had just lost one of their own. 

25 years later, the family of Lindberg Sanders is looking to reopen the case.

Attorney J. Bailey plans to file a request asking the Justice Department re-examine the evidence. 

An independent FBI investigation ruled it a justifiable shooting.

Today the house on Shannon Avenue is abandoned. 

But, 25 years later, relatives of the men who died here are not ready to abandon the case.


Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.

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