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VIDEO: Columbus Police Fatally Shoot Fugitive Holding Vape Pen

Columbus, OH – Police and city officials have released bodycam video of the officer-involved shooting of a man holding a vape device  when Columbus police officers served a warrant at his apartment early on Tuesday morning (video below).

The Columbus Division of Police said officers went to the apartment of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis to serve an arrest warrant on him just before 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 30, NBC News reported.

Bodycam video from the incident showed officers were outside banging on the front door of the residence and announcing themselves for 10 minutes before someone opened the door.

Officers detained the two men who exited the apartment voluntarily and then yelled warnings to anyone left inside that a police K9 would be released.

The dog entered the apartment and indicated there was someone behind a door in the kitchen, the video showed.

Bodycam video showed that when officers opened the door to the bedroom, Lewis was on the bed with something in his hand.

When he started to raise his hand, Columbus Police Officer Ricky Anderson immediately fired one shot while holding his dog with the other hand, NBC News reported.

Officer Anderson muttered an explicative and quickly holstered his weapon.

Officers saw an object in Lewis’s hand and ordered him to show his hands.

Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said the device officers thought was a weapon turned out to be a “vape pen” that was found on the bed beside him after he was shot.

Bodycam video showed the officers put handcuffs on the wounded suspect and then carried him down to street level before they began performing First Aid.

Lewis was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Chief Bryant said no weapon was found at the scene, NBC News reported.

Officer Anderson’s response to the shooting has led to speculation that he unintentionally fired his weapon.

It is common for the an officer’s gun hand to clench when the non-gun hand closes violently, spontaneously duplicating the actions of the non-gun hand, according to Active Response Training firearm instructor Greg Ellifritz.

Officer Anderson’s non-gun hand was clenched on the K9’s leash, holding the dog back at the time of the shooting.

Officer Anderson is a 30-year veteran of the Columbus police and a member of the K9 unit.

He has been placed on paid administrative leave while the officer-involved shooting is investigated, as is protocol for all such investigations, NBC News reported.

The police chief asked the community to give police time to investigate what happened.

“Donovan Lewis lost his life. As a parent, you know, I sympathize and I grieve with his mother,” Chief Bryant said. “As a community, I grieve with our community. But we’re gonna allow this investigation to take place.”

Columbus police are in the spotlight after three officer-involved shootings within eight days, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Officials released bodycam video from the shootings on Wednesday morning.

The shooting of Lewis was the only fatal shooting, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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