COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Franklin County Coroner’s office has ruled the police shooting death of an unarmed Black man a homicide.
According to the autopsy report, 20-year-old Donovan Lewis died within minutes of being shot by Columbus Police Officer Ricky Anderson in the Hilltop neighborhood in August. A single bullet shot through Lewis’ abdomen, damaging internal organs before lodging in his pelvis.
Anderson shot Lewis after police attempted to serve an arrest warrant on him. Body camera footage showed Anderson shot Lewis, sitting on a bed, within a second of the bedroom door opening.
Anderson was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. According to his personnel record, he was fired from the Columbus Division of Police in 2004 for fraudulently taking back pay. He was reinstated after the Fraternal Order of Police disputed the firing.
The autopsy report indicates that in addition to the bullet wound, Lewis had bruising on his wrists, forearms and right leg. Other than his injuries, he was a healthy adult, the coroner ruled. His blood tested positive for nicotine and THC– but this does not necessarily indicate that he was under the influence of substances at the time of his death.
Officers stood outside Lewis’ bedroom, commanding him to show his hands and “crawl out here,” the body camera footage showed. The officers entered the bedroom about 30 seconds after the gunshot and handcuffed Lewis, telling him to “stop resisting” in the process.
Additional body camera footage from other officers at the scene showed that just over a minute after Lewis was shot, an officer called paramedics and asked other officers to start rendering aid. One officer rushed outside to retrieve a first aid kit, according to the footage.
“Pat him down. Make sure he’s good,” an officer says, before they begin rendering aid to Lewis, and seconds later, decide to take him outside. Medics arrived about six minutes after the gunshot.
An attorney for Lewis’ family previously called police officers’ actions “reckless.”
“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,” attorney Rex Elliot said at a media briefing after the shooting.
Attorneys for the family also accused CPD of violating Andre’s Law — a city ordinance passed after the police shooting of 47-year-old Andre’ Hill that requires police to immediately administer aid to an injured person.
The Bureau of Criminal Investigations is investigation Lewis’ death.