BRADDOCK, Pa. — It’s a case that should have been solved shortly after it happened in February 2020, but more than three years later, Jason Lewis’ murder remains unsolved.
It happened outside a crowded after-hours club in Braddock. There were plenty of witnesses.
Police believe they know who pulled the trigger. Yet, nearly four years later, the case remains unsolved.
The family is frustrated and so are police.
Channel 11 Chief Investigator Rick Earle visited the scene of the crime with the lead investigator and the victim’s father, who has made it his mission to catch the killer.
“My son took his last breath here. Right here,” Richard Lewis, Jason Lewis’ father, said.
Lewis showed Earle where his only son was gunned down.
It happened in the early morning hours outside a popular after-hours club on 7th Street in Braddock.
The club no longer operates.
Earle asked Lewis if it’s difficult to return to the location where his son died.
Lewis said he needs to visit this place every so often and that it’s part of the healing process.
For more than three years, Lewis has been on a mission to track down his son’s killer.
“That was my baby, that was my baby. I owe him that much. I owe him that much,” Richard Lewis said, who fought back the tears as he talked about his son.
Earle also spoke with Allegheny County Police Detective Steven Hitchings, the lead investigator on the case.
“He walked right into trouble,” said Hitchings.
Hitchings said there were a number of people outside the club when the shooting happened as it occurred near closing time.
But Hitchings said no one will come forward and identify the shooter, even though multiple people saw it.
“We know who did it but people just will not talk to us or tell us what they saw,” said Hitchings.
“So many people saw it and so many people know who did it. They all know who did it, but they just refuse to come forward,” said Lewis, who indicated that this isn’t a case of who done it, but a case of why you won’t say who did it.
The club was outfitted with multiple cameras both inside and outside, but the one camera that would have captured the shooting wasn’t working that day.
“It was unexplainable how that one camera didn’t work,” said Hitchings.
Jason Lewis and a friend arrived at the after-hours club after stopping at the casino on the North Shore.
Inside the club, Jason Lewis’ friend had words with a woman.
It carried over outside with the woman’s son.
“It was nothing more than a simple argument. No punches thrown. Nothing, no one grabbing, holding somebody back from attacking. It was a mere argument and I believe it was over his friend possibly disrespecting a woman inside,” said Hitchings.
Minutes later, Jason Lewis walked out of the club and had words with the same man his friend had just encountered.
“We know he started arguing with the person, and the next thing you know shots are fired. He’s hit multiple times,” said Hitchings.
Jason Lewis was hit by the gunfire. No one else was wounded.
Another friend scooped up Lewis, put him in his car, and rushed him to the hospital where he died that morning.
“Our whole world just stopped, our whole world stopped, total shock, total dismay,” said Richard Lewis.
Jason Lewis was a father of four and a grandfather.
He started his own landscaping business, grew up in Braddock, and was very active in the community.
“Bookbag drives, food, Toys for Tots. He coached Little League. He coached football. He was very active,” Richard Lewis said.
Richard Lewis said Jason’s family continues to struggle with the loss of their father.
“He was such a powerful influence on them, and you know to lose that structure and that guidance it had to rip them apart,” said Lewis.
Richard Lewis purchased a billboard in Braddock to honor his son’s birthday.
But he also left a message for the killer, a saying he has come to rely on as he waits and hopes for justice.
“What was done in the dark will come to the light,” said Richard Lewis.
Richard Lewis is optimistic now that Pennsylvania State Police Crimestoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of his son’s killer.
“That knock is going to come. I truly believe with all my heart and soul. My faith tells me, my faith tells me to hang in there justice is coming,” said Lewis.
Now that there’s a reward in the case, investigators told Earle that they plan to revisit some of the witnesses, hoping to convince just one of them to break their silence so they can finally solve the case.
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