BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A grand jury declined to press charges against any individuals in connection with the death of Buffalo State student Tyler Lewis Friday, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Erie County DA John Flynn wouldn’t identify any individuals by name but said that evidence “clearly showed that this was a justifiable stabbing” under New York State self-defense laws.
According to Flynn, Lewis and four friends attempted to buy marijuana from a lone dealer using counterfeit money near the Ellicott Dorm Complex on UB’s North Campus. Lewis entered the dealer’s car to make the purchase while his friends waiting in another car. Text messages, witness accounts and some surveillance video shows that it was a pre-arranged meeting.
Prosecutors say that Lewis had a large knife and $1,800 in counterfeit money on his person.
A fight broke out between Lewis and the dealer, with Lewis’ friends joining on his side. The dealer pulled out a knife and stabbed Lewis.
Lewis fled with his friends before collapsing next to their car. Lewis’ friends left him with an RA, who called emergency services. Lewis was taken to ECMC, where he later died. UB said in a statement on Friday that the student who was with Lewis is no longer attending the school.
“I still put the case in the grand jury for not only transparency, but just to show that one person is not going to make this decision solely,” Flynn said at a press conference Friday, adding that he did so “out of fairness to the family,” saying that he did not believe a case was viable.
The Lewis family held a press conference outside the DA’s office Monday, calling on the DA to make an arrest in the months-long investigation and to be more transparent.
“When I’m accused of being incompetent by the victim’s family and their friends, I find that offensive,” Flynn said. “And again, they this took long because we have been in constant communication with the family throughout this entire incident.”
Roquishia Lewis, Lewis’ mother, said to News 4 that the DA’s office is lying about the evidence in the case and is not being transparent.
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