Family of man shot, killed by Detroit gas station clerk demands answers

‘My son loved life,' victim’s mother said

Victim's family demands answers in deadly gas station shooting
Victim's family demands answers in deadly gas station shooting

DETROIT – The family of a man shot and killed at a Detroit gas station is demanding answers and action.

The loved ones of Joshua Lewis are still coming to terms with his death. Lewis was shot at a 76 gas station on Gratiot Avenue.

“My son loved life. He loved everybody. He was a husband. He was a father,” said Lewis’ mother, Emily Rippy.

“It’s tragic. I’ve never lost someone so close,” said Lewis' sister, Tiffany Lewis.

Lewis was shot and killed by a teenage clerk Monday night over a dispute involving one of the machines inside of the businesses, his family said.

“According to the community folk, he was shaking a machine trying to get a return on some of his money,” said Taffori Brent of The People’s Action.

Initial police reports said Lewis may have been robbing the store. A hammer was found near his body, along with a bag containing an unknown amount of money. Community members said even if that was true, he didn’t deserve to die.

“He should have stayed behind the safety of his glass and called the police if he was shoplifting. That didn’t give him a right to take somebody’s life,” said Zeek of New Era Detroit.

Witnesses said the 18-year-old clerk shot Lewis from behind the bulletproof glass with an AK-47. There is still some confusion into what exactly happened.

Multiple organizations, like New Era Detroit and the People’s Action are trying to make sure nobody does business at the gas station anytime soon.

“They’re shut down indefinitely. That’s why you see the community here,” Brent said.

The groups have one primary demand for the owner of the gas station.

“You pay this family restitution and you pay for the homegoing of our brother,” Brent said.

In the meantime, the clerk who killed Lewis has been arrested. The family is still searching for closure.

“He didn’t deserve that. You shot my son down like a dog. And we the one’s that make you rich,” Lewis' mother Emily Rippy said.

The organizations said they are doing more than just responding to these incidents that have happened at gas stations before. They’re saying they have sensitivity training and cultural training for all clerks full of charge.

The incident is still under investigation. No charges have been issued.

If you want to help the family of the victim, click here.

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.