The Erie County District Attorney’s Office’s investigation into the death of Tyler Lewis is “nearly complete,” Erie County DA John Flynn said in a statement Wednesday.
“While it is my policy to not comment during an active investigation, I want to assure the Lewis family, University at Buffalo and Buffalo State University communities, and the public that this case remains a top priority,” Flynn said. “I understand the difficulties of waiting for answers and recognize the importance of transparency in this case. We have been in communication consistently with Tyler’s family to provide updates without compromising this ongoing investigation.”
Flynn also thanked the law enforcement agencies working with the DA on the case and added that his office wouldn’t release any more information until it finishes investigating.
University Police released a similar statement Monday, saying that their investigation was entering its “final stages” and that they wouldn’t release any further information without Flynn’s approval.
"I wish I could believe that they were treating this case as if it was their own child," Roquishia Lewis, Tyler Lewis' mother, said in a statement to The Spectrum. "With all honesty, my belief in Buffalo's justice system is quite shaken. While not customary, our family has had to hire an attorney, a private investigator, hand out flyers and arrange an award to move the case in the direction of equity. But I do look forward to meeting with John Flynn in person and for my son’s murderer to be arrested, for the sake of Justice, for Tyler X. Lewis and the sake of the safety of the UB students and the Buffalo community at large."
Flynn’s comments mark his first public statement regarding the investigation since Tyler Lewis was stabbed outside the Ellicott Complex on Oct. 14.
In the hours after Lewis’ death, investigators told the public that the incident “likely stemmed from a physical altercation between several individuals who most likely knew each other” and that they were searching for a black sedan and four individuals, one of whom was described as a 19- to 22-year-old white male wearing a blood-stained, yellow shirt with a “large diagonal laceration” on his forehead. Authorities have released no other information.
Roquishia Lewis came to UB’s North Campus Monday to protest the duration of the investigation and hand out flyers to passersby. Roquishia Lewis and her husband, Terrence Lewis, are offering a $4,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and have sued both UB and Buffalo State for $10 million for failing “to properly vet students prior to admission and admitted students known to have a violent history,” who then attacked Lewis.
UB spokesperson John Della Contrada told The Spectrum that the claims in the Lewis family’s lawsuit “are not supported by the evidence gathered in the case.”
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include comment from Roquishia Lewis.
Grant Ashley is the managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant Ashley is the managing editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science and (mediocre) Spanish double major. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on Twitter @Grantrashley.