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Mother of man, 20, shot by cops says that she found out about his death on the internet

The mother of an unarmed Ohio man shot dead by cops after they mistook his vape for a gun said she found out her son was dead on the internet.

Rebecca Duran, the mother of Donovan Lewis, arrived at her son’s apartment in the Hilltop district of Columbus after her son was shot by an officer during a police raid at 3am on August 30.

Duran went to her son’s house during the active investigation moments after she received the disturbing information about her son.

“The news was releasing information on the internet before I could get it,” Duran told ABC News. ‘I was on the scene and I needed to see what actually happened.’

The grieving mother was captured on a police body camera crying hysterically and begging the police to let her see Lewis while outside his home the day of his death.

‘Where did they take him?’ Duran said as she held her face in her hands and begged officers to tell her where they took Lewis.

‘How did they call his girlfriend, but not me?’

She later added, ‘The police called her and said that he died and they revived him, and then they were still working on him and he was unresponsive.’

‘I just want to know what hospital he is at… if he is still alive and I can see him,’ Duran said.

An empathetic officer responded: ‘That is above me… I have to have a detective come [and speak to you.] They are rolling in. I promise you, I want you to be where you need to be as quickly as possible… I’m a relative too, I get it.’

Duran concluded, ‘He’s mentally ill, I know that’s the story all the time but it’s the truth.’

Columbus Police Officer Ricky Anderson, who is responsible for shooting Lewis, remains on unpaid leave amid pending litigation.

Donovan Lewis, 20, was shot and killed by police in Columbus, Ohio, shortly before 3am on August 30 while he was in bed

Lewis is seen in the split second before Ricky Anderson, a K-9 handler and 30-year veteran of Columbus police, pulls the trigger

Lewis is seen in the split second before Ricky Anderson, a K-9 handler and 30-year veteran of Columbus police, pulls the trigger

Rebecca Duran, the mother of Donovan Lewis, arrived at her son's apartment in the Hilltop district of Columbus in tears on August 30

Rebecca Duran, the mother of Donovan Lewis, arrived at her son’s apartment in the Hilltop district of Columbus in tears on August 30

Lewis knew something wasn't right when officers didn't tell her more information about her son

Lewis knew something wasn’t right when officers didn’t tell her more information about her son

Police body cameras captured the home raid on August 30. Police were sent to the apartment complex on Sullivant Avenue to serve a felony warrant for domestic violence, assault, and weapons-related incidents on the second floor of the building.

The footage showed police knocking on the apartment door for several minutes and handcuffing two men who answered.

One officer asks if Donovan Lewis is inside. The man replied that he does not know who is inside because he was sleeping.

They sent in a K-9, and when the dog indicated a third man was in the room Officer Anderson, the K-9 handler opened the door, firing his gun a second later and killing Lewis.

In the footage, Lewis can be seen raising his right hand towards officers, while his left hand is still back near the pillow.

An officer then demands Lewis ‘crawl out here’, but the young man remains on the bed.

They enter the room, and search for weapons before handcuffing him, telling him to ‘stop resisting’. A vape pen was found beside him.

He is carried out of the apartment, and taken to a waiting ambulance. Lewis died at the hospital.

Rex Elliott, an attorney for the Lewis family, said Officer Anderson – who has been placed on leave pending an investigation – was ‘entirely reckless’.

‘There was no reason to serve this [arrest warrant] in the middle of the night,’ Elliot told ABC.

‘The reality is this police officer opened the door and within a split second, he didn’t have the time to perceive anything in Lewis’ hand.

‘[Donovan’s] hands were done at his side. These police officers were screaming at him to come out of the room. He’s getting out of bed like they were asking him to. He’s following police commands when he is gunned down in cold blood.’

Rex Elliott (right), an attorney for the Lewis family, said there was no reason for police to have gone to the apartment in the middle or the night or shoot Lewis

Rex Elliott (right), an attorney for the Lewis family, said there was no reason for police to have gone to the apartment in the middle or the night or shoot Lewis

Police knocked for eight minutes before the first of the two men emerged from the apartment

Police knocked for eight minutes before the first of the two men emerged from the apartment

Two men come out of the apartment with their hands up and are handcuffed after police are knocking at the door for several minutes

Two men come out of the apartment with their hands up and are handcuffed after police are knocking at the door for several minutes

One of the two was asked who else was in the apartment, and said they did not know

One of the two was asked who else was in the apartment, and said they did not know

The K-9 is seen searching the apartment, and honing in on the bedroom where Lewis lay in bed

The K-9 is seen searching the apartment, and honing in on the bedroom where Lewis lay in bed

Anderson is seen restraining his dog moments after the fatal shooting

Anderson is seen restraining his dog moments after the fatal shooting

The gunshot was fired by Anderson (right, with the dog) less than a second after the door was opened

The gunshot was fired by Anderson (right, with the dog) less than a second after the door was opened

Officers did not attempt to perform life saving measures on Lewis until several minutes later

Officers did not attempt to perform life saving measures on Lewis until several minutes later

Lewis may not have heard the officers banging on his door since his room is in the back of the apartment, according to Elliot

Lewis may not have heard the officers banging on his door since his room is in the back of the apartment, according to Elliot

While the body cam footage has been released to the public, Duran has not been able to watch the full video. She has forced herself to watch snippets to understand what went wrong.

‘I knew something was wrong, I didn’t know what it was, and so I had to see it for myself,’ Duran told ABC.

Duran said the footage ‘obviously’ pointed out the truth that the officer who pulled the trigger did not see him.

‘He was partially behind the door and when he went to shoot him the person who had a clear view did not fire, so there’s obviously something very, very, very wrong,’ she said.

After the gunshot went off, there were about five minutes before the police intervened and performed life saving measures.

‘There is not much more, the fact that there was a delay of care,’ Duran said. ‘There was no attempt to preserve his life.

[They were] frisking him handcuffed [and] flipping him around on the bed. He should have been treated immediately in that room.’

Duran emotionally remembered the life of her son and his heart that cared for those around them.

‘I lived life grand,’ Duran said as she wept. ‘I loved life. I had a zest for life. I loved people. He had the biggest heart.

Duran said other people have reached out to her and remembered Lewis for her smile, sense of humor, and ‘beautiful’ eyelashes.

Lewis' mom said Anderson didn't see him laying in his bed when he pulled the trigger

Lewis’ mom said Anderson didn’t see him laying in his bed when he pulled the trigger

Police waited about five minutes before performing life saving measures to save Lewis

Police waited about five minutes before performing life saving measures to save Lewis

Lewis is remembered by his family and friends as being carried towards others

Lewis is remembered by his family and friends as being carried towards others

Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said Anderson had been placed on leave, and emphasized that they wanted full transparency in the investigation – which was why they released the footage.

‘Donovan Lewis lost his life,’ she said.

‘As a parent, I sympathize and grieve with his mother. I grieve with our community.

‘Every day, officers are put in compromising, sometimes life-threatening situations in which we are required to make split-second decisions.

‘As the chief, it is my job to hold my officers accountable, but it’s also my job to offer them support and make sure I give that to them during the process.

‘If they do the right things for the right reasons, we will support them. If they do something wrong, they will be held accountable.’

Mark Collins, the attorney representing Anderson is seeking a ‘thorough investigation,’ according to ABC News.

‘He was devastated that he was placed in a situation where he had to use lethal force,’ Collins said. ‘As a parent himself, his heart goes out to the Lewis family.’

Collins argued that Anderson’s actions reflected what he was taught in training and that the camera captured unseen ‘angles.’

‘Everything that was done was by his training. Sometimes they are in a situation where they have to make a split-second decision. And in this situation, Anderson believed what he saw was a gun, and so that is why he fired because he believed his life was in danger.

‘Of course, he was mistaken, that it was not a gun. But it was that mistake reasonable and the Supreme Court cases and the jury instructions give deference to police officers in these types of situations because all across America everyday officers are in those situations.’

Meanwhile, Duran said Anderson should not be able to resume as an officer at any other location.

Lewis’ family plans to file a civil lawsuit in the weeks to come.

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