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Details emerge of gunfire exchange between accused car thief and Decatur police

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DECATUR — More details have emerged of the violent confrontation in which alleged car thief Gregory W. Lewis was accused of shooting at Decatur police — who returned fire — and where everyone emerged from the ordeal uninjured.

A sworn affidavit from Detective Bryan Kaylor said police, already investigating reports of a stolen vehicle, had cornered the 47-year-old Lewis early Friday at the rear of a home in the 1000 block of West Cerro Gordo Street that he was trying to break into.

“Uniformed police arrived on scene, observed Lewis exiting the back of the residence, verbally identified themselves as police, and Lewis then discharged the firearm he was in possession of at the police,” said Kaylor.

Neither the detective, or police statements made at the time of the incident, identifies the officer who returned fire.

Police have previously said the shots-fired incident was being investigated with the help of body cameras worn by the officers involved which captured the drama.

Writing in the affidavit, Kaylor said police had earlier been investigating reports of a stolen truck around 5:45 a.m. at a gas station at 1089 W. Eldorado St.

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Kaylor said the vehicle had been left running on the gas station lot and Lewis had hopped in and driven off. As officers were working that incident, reports came in minutes later from a worried resident living on West Cerro Gordo Street.

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“A resident claimed someone was trying to break into the back door of the residence,” said Kaylor, describing the situation moments before the gunfire erupted.

“Gregory W. Lewis committed the aggravated discharge of a firearm when he knowingly or intentionally discharged a firearm in the direction of a person he knew to be a peace officer,” Kaylor added.

The detective said Lewis is a convicted felon who is not allowed to own the semi-automatic pistol he was armed with. A check of Macon County Circuit Court records shows that the Springfield man was sentenced to two years in prison in July of 2019 after pleading guilty to possessing illegal drugs.

In addition to the preliminary charge of aggravated discharge of a weapon at a peace officer, Lewis was booked on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Macon County Jail records also list him as facing unrelated preliminary charges of aggravated domestic battery inflicting strangulation, two further counts of domestic battery, a charge of aggravated battery in a public place and being in breach of his parole conditions. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney’s office.

Lewis remained in custody Monday with bail set at $2.14 million, meaning he would have to post a bond of $214,000 to be released.


Mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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Lewis entered not guilty pleas on one charge of attempted murder and another charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer. He also denied further charges of being an armed habitual criminal, being a felon in possession of a weapon and vehicle theft.

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