Bodycam footage released after Ohio officer fatally shoots black man possibly holding a ‘vape pen’

US News

Police in Ohio have released bodycam footage after an officer fatally shot a 20-year-old black man while trying to serve an arrest warrant.

The video shows a Columbus Police officer opening a door in an apartment and firing at the man identified as Donovan Lewis within seconds of their encounter, as he sits up in bed and raises his hands.

Chief Elaine Bryant told a news conference that officer Ricky Anderson fired his gun when Lewis raised a hand with something in it, WCMH of Columbus reported.

Ms Bryant said a device that appeared to be a “vape pen” was later “found on the bed right next to him”. Police said no weapon was found.

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The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has opened an investigation into the shooting, police said.

The officer, a 30-year veteran of the force who was assigned to the canine unit, has been placed on leave.

The footage, which was taken shortly after officers located Mr Lewis on Tuesday morning, was released by police during a news conference.

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Ms Bryant told the conference: “Donovan Lewis lost his life. As a parent, you know, I sympathise, and I grieve with his mother.

“As a community, I grieve with our community, but we’re gonna allow this investigation to take place.”

The moment before the officer fired the fatal shot. Pic: From video from Columbus Division of Police
The moment before the officer fired the fatal shot. Pic: From video from Columbus Division of Police

Pic: From video from Columbus Division of Police
Pic: From video from Columbus Division of Police

Officers had been attempting to serve a felony warrant at an apartment just before 2.30am when the deadly shooting unfolded, the Columbus Division of Police said in a news release.

Before the officer fires the fatal shot, the footage shows the moments leading up to the incident, with officers knocking on the front door of the apartment before a man eventually answers and is taken into custody.

Another man encountered inside the entrance of the apartment was also detained, WCMH reported.

Police said officers provided aid to Lewis until Columbus Fire medics arrived on the scene and transported him to a hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 3.19am, police said.

Lewis’s death comes less than two years after a Columbus police officer lost his job days after fatally shooting a black man who was found to have been unarmed.

In May last year, the City of Columbus reached a $10 million settlement with Andre Hill’s family over the deadly shooting.

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