Family and supporters of Tyler X. Lewis held a news conference in Buffalo on Monday to urge law enforcement to bring charges in connection with his fatal stabbing. Lewis, from Baldwin, a sophomore at Buffalo State, was stabbed to death on the evening of Oct. 14 on the University at Buffalo North Campus. Credit: Dan Cappellazo

The grieving family of a college student from Baldwin who was fatally stabbed in October at the University at Buffalo rallied with supporters Monday outside the Erie County Courthouse to demand charges be filed in the case.

Roquisha Lewis, who was joined by Black Lives Matter activists at the rally, expressed anger and frustration that Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn’s office has yet to charge anyone in connection with the killing of her son, Tyler X. Lewis,19 years old when he was fatally stabbed Oct. 14. University of Buffalo police said shortly after Lewis’ death that they had identified a person of interest in the slaying, a male between 19 and 22 years old, but no arrests have been made.

“It’s been five months and we still don’t have any answers,” said Roquisha Lewis, of Baldwin, before she broke down in tears at the rally.

Officials said after the killing of Tyler X. Lewis, a sophomore majoring in pre-business administration at Buffalo State, that he had been targeted in the stabbing on the University at Buffalo's North Campus.

James Williamson, an attorney for the Lewis family, said a grand jury is hearing evidence in the case. He called for greater transparency from Flynn’s office. 

“Say his name!” Lewis’ supporters chanted throughout the rally. “Tyler Lewis!” 

Other speakers said the investigation had dragged on because Lewis is Black and a potential suspect is white.

Lewis’ girlfriend, Karla Longmore, called the five-month investigation into the fatal stabbing “a shameful process” and said the district attorney’s office has shown “a lack of concern.” 

“We’ve had no time to grieve,” Longmore said. “We’ve been fighting for justice and trying to take matters into our own hands.”

In a statement, Flynn said any allegations that his office has been less than transparent with Lewis’ family are untrue.

"While our office cannot comment as the case remains under investigation, we have met with the family of Tyler Lewis on numerous occasions,” Flynn said. “We have also spoken with the family regularly to provide updates on this ongoing investigation. Any claim that our office has not been transparent with the Lewis family is completely false.”

In a statement, the University at Buffalo said: “While University Police is unable to comment on the details of the grand jury’s review of the case, we are pleased the proceedings are taking place.”

Officials with Buffalo State did not respond to requests for comment.

Lewis' family filed a lawsuit in January in the New York State Court of Claims alleging both schools failed to provide proper security for him the night he died. The lawsuit said the universities failed to adequately vet applicants for admission and accepted students with histories of violence. 

Law enforcement officials have not identified the race of the person of interest in Lewis' death or if they attended either university.

Shellon Washington, a Brooklyn attorney who represents Roquisha and Terence Lewis, the slain teen's father, in the lawsuit, said the parents had expected their son would be safe when they sent him away to school. 

“The universities failed,” Washington said. “The State of New York failed the Lewis family.”

Williamson urged anyone with information about the slaying to call an anonymous tip line — 716-226-6336 — established by the Lewis family.

With Dan Cappellazo


 

The grieving family of a college student from Baldwin who was fatally stabbed in October at the University at Buffalo rallied with supporters Monday outside the Erie County Courthouse to demand charges be filed in the case.

Roquisha Lewis, who was joined by Black Lives Matter activists at the rally, expressed anger and frustration that Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn’s office has yet to charge anyone in connection with the killing of her son, Tyler X. Lewis,19 years old when he was fatally stabbed Oct. 14. University of Buffalo police said shortly after Lewis’ death that they had identified a person of interest in the slaying, a male between 19 and 22 years old, but no arrests have been made.

“It’s been five months and we still don’t have any answers,” said Roquisha Lewis, of Baldwin, before she broke down in tears at the rally.

Officials said after the killing of Tyler X. Lewis, a sophomore majoring in pre-business administration at Buffalo State, that he had been targeted in the stabbing on the University at Buffalo's North Campus.

James Williamson, an attorney for the Lewis family, said a grand jury is hearing evidence in the case. He called for greater transparency from Flynn’s office. 

“Say his name!” Lewis’ supporters chanted throughout the rally. “Tyler Lewis!” 

Other speakers said the investigation had dragged on because Lewis is Black and a potential suspect is white.

Lewis’ girlfriend, Karla Longmore, called the five-month investigation into the fatal stabbing “a shameful process” and said the district attorney’s office has shown “a lack of concern.” 

“We’ve had no time to grieve,” Longmore said. “We’ve been fighting for justice and trying to take matters into our own hands.”

In a statement, Flynn said any allegations that his office has been less than transparent with Lewis’ family are untrue.

"While our office cannot comment as the case remains under investigation, we have met with the family of Tyler Lewis on numerous occasions,” Flynn said. “We have also spoken with the family regularly to provide updates on this ongoing investigation. Any claim that our office has not been transparent with the Lewis family is completely false.”

In a statement, the University at Buffalo said: “While University Police is unable to comment on the details of the grand jury’s review of the case, we are pleased the proceedings are taking place.”

Officials with Buffalo State did not respond to requests for comment.

Lewis' family filed a lawsuit in January in the New York State Court of Claims alleging both schools failed to provide proper security for him the night he died. The lawsuit said the universities failed to adequately vet applicants for admission and accepted students with histories of violence. 

Law enforcement officials have not identified the race of the person of interest in Lewis' death or if they attended either university.

Shellon Washington, a Brooklyn attorney who represents Roquisha and Terence Lewis, the slain teen's father, in the lawsuit, said the parents had expected their son would be safe when they sent him away to school. 

“The universities failed,” Washington said. “The State of New York failed the Lewis family.”

Williamson urged anyone with information about the slaying to call an anonymous tip line — 716-226-6336 — established by the Lewis family.

With Dan Cappellazo


 

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