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Movie Stuntwoman Killed In Shootout

Cheryl Sanders, a stuntwoman who performed in films like Lethal Weapon and Back to the Future Part II, was killed on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in a shootout that's being described by those involved as "an ambush." Sanders' husband — Robert "Reed" Sanders, a real estate agent licensed in Texas — was also killed in the shooting. Sanders was 59, while her husband was 56. 

Reports have indicated that the incident took place outside a multi-million-dollar home on Grinnell Road near Yellow Springs, Ohio. Law enforcement officers have identified Sanders as the ex-wife of the homeowner, Lindsey Duncan, who fired the fatal shots. Sanders and her husband allegedly trespassed onto Duncan's property, at which he lives with his current wife, Molly Duncan. They were also said to be "using a camera system to monitor activity there," according to The Dayton Daily News.

Per WHIO, a news provider servicing Dayton and the Miami Valley in Ohio, Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer stated that there was "an exchange of gunfire in or near the driveway of the home." Reportedly, Reed Sanders, carrying a gun, approached Duncan's vehicle as it was entering the driveway of the Grinnell Road home. Duncan shot Reed Sanders, evidently in self-defense. Cheryl Sanders then allegedly "drove up to the scene," armed with a gun, and was also killed by Duncan.

At a press conference held on Friday, February 14, 2020, Molly Duncan said of the fatal incident, "The word 'ambush' is exactly what it was. We were caught off guard. They said nothing and they started shooting at us." Added Lindsey Duncan, "I thought it was a bad nightmare. I didn't know what to do. Whatever happened after that was instinct. It wasn't me. It was instinct."

No motive for the shooting has been identified, as the investigation is ongoing. Duncan has reportedly not been charged with a crime.

Cheryl Sanders' career as a stuntwoman

In 1985, Sanders began a career as a stuntwoman after training in martial arts and kickboxing. 

Sanders performed as a stunt double for a number of Hollywood's elite — including Jessica Alba, Brooke Shields, and Sharon Stone. 

She performed stunts for Rene Russo in director John McTiernan's 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, in which Russo starred as Catherine Banning, an insurance investigator and the love interest of Pierce Brosnan's Thomas Crown. Sanders again worked in conjunction with Russo for the Lethal Weapon film series, in which Russo portrayed Sergeant Lorna Cole.

Additionally, Sanders was the stunt double for Kathleen Turner in V.I. Warshawski, the 1991 film directed by Jeff Kanew that featured Turner as the titular character, a hardened private investigator with a tender heart. She'd also doubled for Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner, Bridget Fonda, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ellen Barkin, Kelly Lynch, and Kelly Preston, according to an interview she gave in April 2015. 

Sanders' stuntwoman career came to a halt in 1989 during production of Back to the Future Part II, for which she was working as the stunt double for Spike actress Darlene Vogel. She and a few other stunt workers were involved in a chase scene in which they were riding "piano wire supported hoverboards throughout this elaborate futuristic outdoor set" before flying through a window. Things went awry when Sanders realized the group was "listing to the left" and that she was going to hit a pillar near the window through which they were meant to fly. She indeed hit the pillar — then was left dangling 20 feet above the ground, and ultimately fell to the concrete below. 

After numerous surgeries to her face, arm, and jaw, Sanders re-entered the stunt industry in 1991 and had been an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle, even founding with Reed Sanders the supplement company Zen Formulas

Sanders' other credits include stunt work in Charlie's Angeles, Batman & Robin, and The Mask