Columbus Police released the body cam footage showing the shooting of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis in Hilltop, Ohio, who was gunned down in bed with a vape pen beside him, officials said in a press conference, based on their preliminary findings. Read on to watch the full video, or see it here. The officer who shot Lewis was identified as Ricky Anderson.
Lewis died in a local hospital less than an hour after the shooting. He was shot once in the abdomen at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 30, 2022. The 24-minute video showing the shooting is graphic, and YouTube restricted the viewing.
Police were serving an arrest warrant at Lewis’ apartment on allegations of domestic violence. He was accused of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend. Lewis’ shooting was the third involving Columbus Police in the last eight days. One officer injured a 17 year old in a shooting, who survived, and no injuries were reported in the third shooting.
Here’s what you need to know:
An Attorney Representing Lewis’ Family Said He Was Complying With Officers’ Commands
The body cam footage shows a group of officers responding to Lewis’ apartment to serve a felony warrant on the man. The Columbus Dispatch reported it is standard protocol to send multiple officers to conduct an arrest on a person accused of violent felonies. Among his charges was improper handling of a firearm, officials said in a press conference. He had not yet faced those charges in court.
The video shows officers arrest two other males in the residence after knocking on the door for more than eight minutes. They arrived at the residence at about 2:28 a.m. Officers went into the residence with a K-9, which they threatened to send into Lewis’ bedroom. Anderson, who was identified by authorities as the shooter, was a K-9 officer and a 30-year veteran of the force.
Anderson fired a shot at Lewis almost immediately after officers opened Lewis’ bedroom door. The video shows Lewis briefly lift his body from the bed before he was shot. Officers repeatedly demanded to see his hands and told him to “crawl out” from the bed.
An officer handcuffed Lewis, who audibly moaned on the video.
“Glove up. Start rendering aid,” an officer says after Lewis is handcuffed.
“Don’t move, bud,” he later added to Lewis.
Officers moved Lewis outside to receive care from a medic, who arrived minutes later.
“You’re alright, buddy. You’re alright,” officers told Lewis.
He was pronounced dead at 3:19 a.m. at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.
An attorney representing Lewis’ family, Rex Elliott, said in a press conference the video shows Lewis complying with officers.
“As a result of this entirely reckless behavior by a Columbus Police Officer, a family is left to grieve the loss of such a young soul.” Elliott said. “Frame by frame, the video reveals the truth—three white officers accompanied by an aggressive K9 dog shot an unarmed 20-year-old… as he sat up in his bed in compliance with police commands.”
Lewis’ Family Appeared in a Press Conference as They Prepare for His Funeral
Lewis’ family appeared in a press conference Thursday morning, September 1, 2022, and issued a statement through their attorney. Elliot said Lewis was asleep when officers burst his door open and shot him almost immediately.
“In literally the blink of an eye, a Columbus Police Officer shot and killed Donovan Lewis, an unarmed young Black man who was alone in his bed in the middle of the night,” Elliot said, reading the statement from Lewis’ family.
Officials asked reporters not to ask questions of the family, saying they were preparing to “say goodbye to Donovan.”
“Rest assured, we will get justice for Donovan and do everything in our power to stop these senseless killings,” the family said in their statement through their attorney. “There cannot be one more young Black life taken this way.”