Pima County Attorney: Deputies involved in deadly shooting of 19-year-old won’t face charges

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 1:32 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The deputy who shot and killed 19-year-old Bradley “Alex” Lewis in January won’t face any charges and neither will the other deputies involved in that case. That’s the final word from Pima County Attorney Laura Conover after she completed a second review of the shooting.

Conover conducted the review alongside county attorney office Chief Deputy Tamara Mulembo and Chief Criminal Deputy Dan South. Together, they “decided that no charges could or should be sought against the Pima County Sheriff’s Department deputies involved in the Jan. 20 death of Mr. Lewis,” according to a news release from the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

The Lewis family has issued the following statement: We have finally received the Pima County Sheriff’s Department report but no matter what new information it contains, we know two things. Alex was unarmed when he was shot and killed in his grandparents’ driveway, and before we had Alex’s memorial and without notice to the public, the Deputy responsible for his death was cleared to return to work a mere 8 days later.   While we anxiously awaited three months for information, Sheriff Nanos misled and disparaged our son to the media and public in what we imagine was an attempt to justify the department’s actions. We know much of what was speculated is untrue.  Once we fully review the report and confirm the inaccuracies, we will make a more formal and detailed statement.   The last year has clearly shown us our peacekeepers do not always keep the peace or properly protect those they take an oath to serve. In order for things to change, the accused who die at the hands of those responsible to protect us require transparency and truth.   That is exactly what we expect to achieve before we can begin to heal from the tragic loss of our only child who turned 19 just two weeks before he was taken from us forever.

Anita & Bradley Lewis

The investigation — that concluded April 3, — comes after the office announced in March it declined to pursue charges against the responding deputies. However, that decision was not relayed to Conover who, according to the release, found out through the media. That is what prompted the secondary review by the county attorney and her associates.

The 19-year-old was shot and killed by Dep. Gilbert Caudillo with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Jan. 20, after Caudillo and other deputies were dispatched to 2100 block of Morning Jewel Place following reports of a man trying to break into cars.

Deputies tried to pull Lewis over but he fled and rammed his vehicle into a patrol car, officials said. Lewis got out of his car with a dark object in his hand and, officials said, he charged Caudillo, who fatally shot the young man.

However, Lewis was unarmed. As deputies tried to care for him after the shooting, they discovered the dark object in the young man’s hand was a key fob. No firearms were found near Lewis or at the scene. He died at the hospital.

Officials said responding deputies knew Lewis had previous weapons history and was wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Read the full release from the Pima County Attorney’s Office below:

“Laura Conover and the new administration of the Pima County Attorney’s Office (PCAO) committed to the community to be accountable and as thorough as possible, especially on in-custody deaths. Thus, when the family of Bradley “Alex” Lewis and Laura herself learned in March that criminal charges had been declined by this Office – not from proper channels, but through the media – Laura decided to personally start anew the entire investigation, along with PCAO Chief Deputy Tamara Mulembo and Chief Criminal Deputy Dan South. At the end of their new, thorough review, it was decided that no charges could or should be sought against the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) deputies involved in the Jan. 20 death of Mr. Lewis. However, this time, the decision was communicated to the grieving family, to the Sheriff himself, and then the attorney for the Deputy, all in short order, on the Saturday of Easter weekend, April 3. Since then, Laura has declined to issue a further statement, until now, to allow the Lewis family time to review the voluminous documentation of the investigation. Laura regrets the additional time that had to be taken; time can equal added stress. But the job must be done right, not fast. Laura sends her condolences to all impacted by this tragedy, including the Lewis family and PCSD deputies.”

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