A Columbus police officer, who fatally shot an unarmed Black man seconds after coming upon him, has been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident. According to NBC News, the fatal Tuesday encounter occurred while officers were attempting to serve a warrant for the arrest of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis.
Body camera footage of the fatal encounter was released by Columbus police later on Tuesday. In the video, a police officer can be seen opening fire on Lewis moments after he was located in a room of an apartment building. Prior to the shooting, Lewis is seen appearing to get up from bed and raise his hand.
The officer who fatally shot Lewis was identified as Ricky Anderson. Chief Elaine Bryant told reporters at a press conference that Anderson opened fire on Lewis after it appeared Lewis had something in his hand when he supposedly raised it, WCMH reported. After the fatal shooting, Bryant said a gadget that looked like a “vape pen” was “found on the bed right next to him.” Police also said they did not find any weapon.
“Donovan Lewis lost his life. As a parent, you know, I sympathize, and I grieve with his mother,” Bryant said. “As a community, I grieve with our community, but we’re going to allow this investigation to take place.”
The fatal incident occurred in the wee hours of Tuesday. Columbus police said officers had gone to the apartment in question to try and serve a felony warrant.
Body camera footage of the incident shows knocking on the apartment’s front door before they detain a man who answers. The officers also detained a second man they met in the apartment, per WCMH.
The officers are later seen heading towards a door. Anderson, who is seen handling a police dog in the apartment, later opens fire moments after he opens the door. Lewis was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An investigation into the incident has since been launched by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, police said, per NBC News.
Lewis’ shooting death comes almost two years after a Columbus police officer was relieved of his duties after he shot and killed an unarmed Black man. The city of Columbus later agreed to pay Hill’s family $10 million to settle a lawsuit over his killing.