Chief: Man fatally shot by Columbus police may have held vape pen

COLUMBUS — A man fatally shot by police in Ohio’s capital city appeared to be holding a vape pen in his hand, the city police chief said as an investigation was underway into the shooting.

Donovan Lewis, 20, died at a hospital following the shooting early Tuesday morning. Columbus police say officers were at the scene to arrest Lewis on multiple warrants including domestic violence, assault and felony improper handling of a firearm.

Police body-cam footage shows an officer opening a bedroom door in an apartment and immediately shooting Lewis, who was in bed. Lewis appeared to be holding the vape pen before he was shot, said Columbus police chief Elaine Bryant. No weapon was found.

Bryant has not addressed whether police believed the device was a weapon, a determination that will come during the probe by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Bryant said the city was committed to holding officers responsible if there was any wrongdoing but the state investigation needed to play out first.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, who hired Bryant last year, said that “regardless of the circumstances, a mother has lost her son in the city of Columbus.”

The U.S. Justice Department agreed in 2021 to review Columbus police department practices after a series of fatal police shootings of Black people and the city’s response to 2020 racial injustice protests.