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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced to Over 7 Years for Possession of Firearm During Domestic Violence Incident and Possession of Ammunition After Threatening and Evading Law Enforcement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

JACKSON, TN - Shannon Pettigrew, 35, has been sentenced to 92 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition on two separate occasions. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.

According to the information presented in court, on December 22, 2017, officers with the Benton County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call indicating a man was going to kill his girlfriend. At the house they found the defendant, his girlfriend and two children. Pettigrew had his girlfriend by the neck and refused commands. Just before the woman and children were released, the girlfriend yelled to officers to back up, because Pettigrew had a gun.

After the standoff, law enforcement recovered a 20 gauge sawed-off shotgun in the residence with a shell casing. The victim confirmed to law enforcement that she noticed the firearm in the house earlier that day and assumed the defendant went to get it because he was going to call the cops and "commit suicide by cop." A neighbor also told law enforcement that she heard a shot at Pettigrew’s house and saw him with an object believed to be a shotgun.

On October 5, 2018, officers with the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Benton County Sheriff's Office were conducting an undercover operation when Pettigrew drove by their unmarked car in a parking lot. One officer gestured and Pettigrew pulled out a black pistol and pointed it at the officers. Being familiar with the defendant’s previous felony convictions, the officers attempted to apprehend the defendant.

A car chase ensued with the defendant crashing his vehicle; officers saw something thrown from the vehicle. Officers recovered a box from a Phoenix Arms Black pistol with two rounds of .22 LR ammunition. They further searched the area along the roadway traveled during the chase, but were unable to locate the firearm. Officers did execute a search warrant for Pettigrew's phone and discovered a photo of a black .22 LR pistol matching the description of the firearm pointed at the officers.

Pettigrew has prior felony convictions for Grand Theft Auto, False Imprisonment, Escape, and Evading Arrest, and was on state probation and bond release status for new criminal offenses at the time of these federal firearms offenses. As a result of his prior felony conviction history, Pettigrew is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.

On July 8, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Pettigrew to 92 months in federal prison followed by 3 years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Violent crime committed by felons with firearms affects and endangers all communities in West Tennessee, both urban and rural. Pettigrew’s brazen and disturbing conduct terrorized his domestic violence victims and endangered law enforcement officers. Now he will have plenty of time in federal prison to suffer with the consequences of his recidivist criminal conduct, and the citizens of Benton County and West Tennessee will be safer for it."

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Benton County Sheriff’s Department; and the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary Lawler Parham prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.



Cherri Green
Reentry and Community Outreach Coordinator
(901) 544-4231

Updated July 9, 2020