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Argument preceded shooting of David Lewis

Original post made on Jun 10, 2010

In the minutes prior to being fatally shot in the back Wednesday afternoon, East Palo Alto drug-intervention leader David Lewis was arguing with an unknown suspect or suspects, police said at a press conference Thursday morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 10, 2010, 3:13 PM

Comments (78)

Posted by yvonne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 12:49 am

This article is so brief and if it is of the person that I believe it to be about, you have done him a disservice to make it such a brief and short article...if this is Mr David Lewis the Director of Free At last then he should be front page you realize who he is and the role he played in the support for his community, the incarcerated, disenfranchised...oh my how dare you to make this so place one of his reputation in a makes me sick to my stomach to read and see such disrespect to such a human...

Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:00 am


I don't think it's a matter of the Weekly showing disrespect to the victim; it seems details have not been provided yet. The Chronicle doesn't give anything more, maybe the Mercury will?

Anyhow, my prayers are with the victim's family and friends...

Posted by Malcolm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:43 am

It was David Lewis, and he was a giant, a King of a man. I cannot believe that someone would take the life of this man who meant so much. No amount of mourning that we can do will be worthy of what David meant to those of us whose lives he touched.

Posted by Doris
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 4:52 am

My deepest sympathy goes out to David's mother Ms. Lewis, David and my husband were the best of friends since their chilfhood. I can remember hen David made the statement that "Sonny, I will one day see you again. Now he is with the best, so David just rest. You rajn a long hard race and I'll never forget your face when I too entered that race, We will always keep you in our hearts. You are my ispiration as to staying clean,and 2with that you are my hero.

Posted by concerned resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 5:55 am

Yvonne and Malcolm, maybe yo should step up to the plate and continue his good work instead of being so judgmental.

God Bless the family.

Posted by RIP
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:27 am

Rest in peace.

Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:44 am

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

When we posted the story we simply didn't have the information about Lewis, about whom we have written for many years as he turned his life around and then helped others do the same. If anyone has family/friends contact information or insights into a possible motive for the killing please send it to me at or Online Editor Tyler Hanley at I can also be reached at 650-223-6510. Thank you.

Posted by MENLO
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:44 am

You'll be missed by many...R.I.P.

Posted by tpar
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:49 am

pa online very classy just like the post and other papers. This man was an EPA resident. Get your facts str8 for a change.

Posted by Mary G
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:12 am

What a tragedy! David was a beautiful man who gave so much of himself to others. My heart goes out to his family and community.

Posted by Angela Julian
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

RIP..... I love you Uncle Funky....You will be deeply missed and NEVER forgotten.

Posted by Karla
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:35 am

I'm sorry to hear of such a horrible incident.My deepest sympathy to the family and may God help you through these difficult times.

Posted by Friend of David Lewis
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:48 am

[Post removed due to possible copyright infringement]

Posted by Sheila
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

I had the honor of meeting David in May for a Breaking Barriers Training...what an exceptional man!...may God/Allah be with his soul and his family...he has made an impact on a lot of lives...his legacy will live on...

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:57 am

The victim has now been officially identified. It is a shame that his identity was released here before it was done officially. I hope that his family were able to hear the news sympathetically before it was released by "those in the know" on the internet.

This is a sad story. It seems that David made enemies while doing his undoubtedly good work. This makes the story doubly sad. My sympathies to his family, friends and all those whose lives he touched for the better.

Posted by Mari R.
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

God Bless you Mr. Lewis, may you Rest in Peace. You will be rewarded for all of your efforts and your legacy will live on.

Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

R.I.P NO MORE WORRIES.Hope who ever did this will be held acountable for his selfish ways.fork tongue human GOD WILL DEAL WITH YOU.

Posted by Charles
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:50 am

What an untimely confluence in the shape of time and space. David Lewis and Police Chief Davis were on a great moving train of good fortune for both men concerning crime in East Palo ALto. As one moves on to a higher plane, let this be hope, to, that Davis can take the lessons and legacy of Lewis' "Free At Last" with him on his journey.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:55 am

I've been friends with David for years and also sit next to him at work. I'm totally distraught by this event. David touched me and so many others in this world let alone community. I will always remember him and the good that he has done. Rest in Peace David and I'll never forgot our greetings in the morning and I'm wishing this was a bad dream and you'll walk through the doors and say "Byrd" whats going on.... My last words would be Lewis, rest in peace...

Posted by Denise Banister
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 10:13 am

Unbelievably heartbreaking. My heart goes out to all his family, friends, and the many many people he reached an empathetic and helping hand to. This is a terrible loss, a terrible blow.

David was integral in helping countless violence prevention, rehabilitation, and self-help programs in the California Prisons and juvenile facilities, and in communities across the country and abroad.

May you find peace and progress in the next world, David, while the light of your good work continues to shine in this one, and may Allah always guide and protect you in your journey.


Posted by Kenn
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 10:40 am

I am in shock. I can't understand why anyone would feel the need to shoot and kill someone who wasn't even a threat to them. David Lewis is a wonderful person. He was a model of change. He gave hope and inspiration to those whom he served along with other professionals. I remember how he responded to a particular situation at the Adams Mark Hotel in Philadelphia sometime about 2006. He helped me to understand some things that I struggled with back then. I remember him talking to a room full of recovering addicts at the treatment program that I directed in Philadelphia. He, along with Gordy and some others came into the treatment program and did a presentation. They didn't charge a penny. They spoke from the heart and he inspired me. I used his change story many times as a facilitator and trainer of the Framework For Breaking Barriers change model. Even though I didn't have a lot of time with him I can tell you that I came to love him for who he was and what he sacrificed his life for. David I will miss you and hopefully, I will be able to continue the fight to free those who are incarcerated within their own minds and who remain addicted. My sympathy and sorrow are shared for those family and friends who I know must be deeply disturbed by this act of cowardliness. Yet, I believe that if David were here he would probably turn around and offer to help the very person who just shot him.

Posted by Cynthia
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

I met David when I came into recovery in 1990 before Free At Last, he was new to recovery himself and very involved in helping others. I was one of the first hired when Free At Last opened and came back briefly in 1998. He asked me to make a video about how Free At Last helped my life and others. He was way too busy on the board of various organizations, also in doing an excellent job raising his children to be involved in anything negative that could jeopardize his life! The only motive that makes any sense had to be envy. I believe that justice will be served quickly as he was loved by many all over the nation. He has given back too much to his community for his death to be in vain.

Posted by Laura
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 10:49 am

I am so honored you touched my life, David. I remember your sharing on your 20th sobriety bday recently at Chope. You are an intelligent, knowledgable, progressive and inspirational person - not to mention exceptionally handsome. You will be severely missed. My thoughts are with your family. RIP

Posted by Cynthia
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 11:05 am

First of all my prayers go out to his family, friends, community and the nations that David touched.

David was my mentor and most of all my friend.

Let us not forget what David stood so very tall for:

He would not have wanted all the negative energy that is displayed in some of the comments above.

He would want the community to come together and find the person who did this, not for him, he was selfless like that, but so that this person would not be able to hurt anyone else.

He would want us to recite and remember The Serenity Prayer

and he would want us to remind eachother:

David, I love you and will carry your torch until we meet again.

Posted by Tracy Carol Harper
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

As an active board member of Community Development Institute in East Palo Alto, David will sorely be missed.

Our hearts are heavy today, may the Good Lord hold his family in the hollow of his hands.

Peace be with you all.

Community Development Institute Staff

Posted by Drina Miles Adams
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 10, 2010 at 11:31 am

David, my godfather, touched so many lives on so many levels. He made a vow to my daddy, Sonny Miles, to always look out for me and my sister. He did that as best he could. Over this past year he did so much for me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally until I am FULL FOR LIFE! I will never forget the long talks we had, he was always so peaceful when he would talk to me about my dad. He promised he would spend more time with me and he did, he surprised me and told me he was headed to the valley and needed directions. He played with my children, who know him has Grandpa David. He smiled the entire time. Having him for the entire day, taking him on on the boat, making him breakfast, made us both feel so much JOY! Everytime he emailed me or called me, I always ended it with I LOVE YOU!

Godfather you are with my dad now, I know you are both in Heaven smiling down on both Sabrina and I saying JOB WELL DONE!

David, my loving godfather, you are finally free at last!


Posted by Debbie Ford-Scriba
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear this news. David Lewis was a change maker of the highest order.

Posted by Greg
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

David Lewis Like a father to me and had gave me many words of wisdom iam truly hurt by this.David Lewis AKA Funky Rat my man RIP one love.I remember once in Folsom he told me you are responsible for your action when you leave this prison make good decision and because of him and the impact he had on me i vowed to make my life right and i did thank you Rat.

Posted by Corrina
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm

To the family, I know this loss is a hard one and during the course of your grieving, may God give you the strength to carry on.

I had the pleasure of meeting this great man, many many years ago and upon meeting him, I knew I had encountered an angel.

Posted by Barbara
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I remember David so well and his generosity of his person and time./.. He would come to our facility in SSF/ Redwood City and give talks on Aids and Addiction to clients who were mandated by the Court System and DMV to fulfill hours of instruction and education in order to avoid jail time... ( first time offenders) His stories and experiences were graphic and he talked from first hand experience. He could even "read the minds" of what some of them were thinking" and would say that sounds like "stinking thinking" to me....They would laugh and at the same time be grateful for his intervention in their lives.....I miss you David.... and will always remember you and pray for all of us who are left without your pressence among us... You live on in our hearts and mind... Prayers and blessings to you and your family and friends...

Posted by Denise
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

My prayers go out to the family of Mr. Lewis. I've never seen a trainer speak like him before. He had an answer for every question asked. So intelligent. I actually took another training class with him in Sacramento County just to hear the words of wisdom. Because of him I know what "PRUNO" is...Mr. Lewis shared things with me after class, that he had not shared with the group which made me love and respect him more. I in return shared a few things with him in which he said I should come speak with him some time and give my testimony. We kept in contact by email. Mr. Lewis is such an INSPIRATION to me. I will TESTIFY. I wish my mom could have heard his testimony and been a part of his program. She died of from a drug overdose 8 years ago...I know he would have made a huge impact in her life. R.I.P David Lewis. You are "FREE AT LAST"

Posted by Marina
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

In response to the articles out there, I'm grateful for the souls he's touched... witnesses who have come out and shared their stories - moments of his journey - how much he meant to them.. I can't help to think of Theodore Roosevelt speech at the Sorbonne in Paris on the 23rd April 1910.

“Critics are worth absolutely nothing: all they do is point an accusing finger at the moment the strong suffer a defeat, or when they commit a mistake. True credit goes to those who are in the arena, their faces covered in dust and sweat and blood, fighting on bravely.

“True credit goes to the one who makes mistakes, who fails but little by little gets things right, because there is no effort without mistake. He knows great enthusiasm and deep devotion, and spends his energy on something worthwhile. That is the true man, who in the best of hypotheses will know victory and conquest, and in the worst of hypotheses will fall, yet even in his fall he is great, because he has lived with courage and stands above those small-minded souls who will never know victory or defeat.”

Even in the fall David is great! Thank you for helping me become a better human and community organizer/activist. Thank You for enriching my soul.

Posted by michael james
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

take back the streets!

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I'm trying to reconcile the news that David was murdered with my memories of him as such a vital charismatic, commanding person. He was polite and knowledgeable, direct, wise and incredibly supportive to so many.

Communities need many David Lewis's. I can only hope that his murderer is caught, prosecuted and imprisoned.

To David's loved ones: you are not alone in your grief. Please allow people to give you the love and support you may be needing at this time.

Posted by Hard Drug Hater
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 10, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Drugs lead to such evil. Good men are often taken down by the bad and the greedy. My sympathies to his family, friends and community.

Posted by Sarah W. from AA
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm

R.I.P. David! Your legacy lives on. You have changed thousands of lives for the better. I hope Palo Alto AA and NA are well represented at your services, and that a collection is taken to support Free At Last. You were most loved!

Posted by laws
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm

people may not realize, but many if not all drugs made by companioes are not only more dangerous that some ''street drugs'' ,but can actually kill. and they are ''legal''. a corporation can get away with murder yet criminalizing of ''street drugs'' leads to this tragedy. this did not have to happen. time for more marches to city centers nationwide. we are in grave danger.

Posted by PA neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Prayers to David's family and friends. Knowing what our community has lost, I can only imagine yours.

Posted by jerome
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 6:54 pm

when will it stop? seems like epa is all lost.

Posted by yolanda
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

david lewis has always been like a uncle to me may you rip funky rat we love you

Posted by Philomena & Randy
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Our deepest sympathy to the Lewis Family, David will always be remeber throughout the community as a soldier of God, who helped his brother and sister gain there freedom. David was a role model not only to the male population but a brave warrior to us African American women too. I can remember back in 2002 when I began my road in recovery David came by my mother house and i was staying outside at 219 Verbena He drove up and talk with me. He said to me, you no, that I no,that you no, that it's time to surrender and through his eyes he could see all the hurt and pain and invite me to Free at Last. He said when you surrender the doors will be open and they where 8 years ago. I thank God for sending a tall dark Angel who love me enough to care if I lived or died. I choose the grace of a loving God to live.

Posted by Anderson & Augmon Family
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

We send our deepest blessing to David's Family and children. To his Mother, we are praying and asking God to watch over her sorrowful heart. Our Family send there love and support. David did a lot for the community of East Palo Alto and has touch the souls of many. He truly was sent as a servant of the Lord.

Posted by ThE ReAlLiSt
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:17 pm

its a very sad story that some one doing good for our community has been taken from us.east palo alto still has violence going on around here and i think that its because we dont have many people like mr.David lewis who stood up and said no more to all this negativity surrounding us.east palo alto doesnt have much to do for our young adults or youth all they have is the streets.we need more people like david from all kinds of races so that east palo alto can become a better place.R.I.P David lewis

Posted by Jason
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I am deeply sorry for David's family, friends, loved ones and the communties that lost such an inspirational soul. David was a man that gave of himself selflessly and did indeed want for everyone to realize their full potential as people. I will surely miss the man that made such an impact on the many he touched.

Posted by blessed 1
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm


Posted by Lorretta
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

One of the many things that David gave us were the "tools" to cope with and manage our lives. Please use these tools now as we manage without David in the physical part of our lives. He will ALWAYS live in our hearts.

Posted by Ruby
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 12:43 am

My prayers to David's family and friends, to all who have been touched by his passion for recovery. He was tireless in working to improve the lives of those who had often lost their way and for those who had lost hope of a better life. Human life can be fragile, treasure those who are important to you and make a difference in the lives of others. Let his legacy live on through all who have been touched by him.

Posted by Brad Williams
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 11, 2010 at 4:36 am

As tragic, and untimely as this is, let us all be mindful to continue to be positive support to family, friends, and community. Remembering NO MATTER WHAT DON'T TAKE NOTHING. ATL,GA

Posted by Mama Nobantu
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 7:47 am

Family, life is so unpredictable. i truly find it hard to believe David had to go so suddenly. He had so much unfinished work to complete. I still have his voicemail he returned as I was traveling back to ATL from my former hometon of EPA. He was the key person to help get a young man out of quentin who has already spent 15 years. His connection to Nairobi, Kenya was key as well as to other international areas to stop drug addition

Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 11, 2010 at 8:33 am

Sad to see that such a great influence is gone from a community that is in such need for his kind of help. We should all remember that all that is required for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing to prevent it's influence.
It seems that this crime was probably committed by a gang-banger/drug dealer. If this is the case, it is one more example of the terrorist threat we face in our own communities. We don't have to take up arms to resist these lowlifes, although it is tempting to consider doing so, and I strongly doubt that this individual would ever advocate such a response. What is necessary, though, is for the people in the community to lose the "anti-snitch" mentality and report any gang and drug related activity to the police, as soon as possible, whenever possible. These rats can be driven from our communities.
If the communities where these low-lifes operate don't take action, they are sowing the seeds of their own demise.

Posted by Cynthia
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 9:12 am

"Anonymous", since you were the only one that posted something negative about Mr. Lewis on here (even though you were ignored), I'd like to ask you exactly how much did you pay for that H.I.V. test you received from Mr. Lewis? I already know the answer! You are ungrateful, and should be focusing on why you needed to take one in the first place, you're lifestyle is obviously detrimental to your health, so stop being so ignorant and look at the big picture!

Posted by Hotti Humma
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

What a loss! Why? Why do people that get there life together have haters awaiting in the mist? Why? Do people have an idea of what people like David Lewis do for people still in trouble or leaning towards trouble? He gives them hope, that thing you don't see often in the ghetto.
My heart is sad today as I can't fathom this loss and why these things happen to people like that when they want to help others.
My sympathies and prayers to the friends and family of this man.

Posted by Adela Gonzales, Stockton, CA
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 10:36 am

David Lewis was my Friend. A Friend to countless people from ALL walks of life.We met in Bellvue, Washington, around 1994 during our Training as Master Facilitators for A Framework for Change programs with Gordy Graham.I made it a point to meet the wonderful people at Free At Last, and my Heart was so touched by the way David and his collegues were able to help the community they served through their simple expression of love and concern from one human being to another.My heartfelt prayers go out to David's Mom, Children, Family Members & His Friends...too many to even try to imagine. YOU David are imprinted in my Heart. I will miss you my Friend.

Posted by `Recovering Addict
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2010 at 11:35 am

Thank you, thank you, David for being who you are (I don't think of you as as gone) and leaving such a legacy to all who were touched by you and your vision. I came to Free At Last over 13 years ago because it felt like the only safe place for me to learn about recovery. Thanks to your having that wonderful space (in Whiskey Gulch of all places) where people like me could be embraced, I haven't drank or used a drug since then. Your legacy has sent ripples of love and hope out across the whole world. RIP dear David. You are a huge model of compassion in action. Thank you.

Posted by Mitchell R.
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm will be missed in a huge way. You left so much and your road traveled was an inspiration to all. We first meet at a Framework training in 99. You voluntered your time to come out to San Quienten Prison and Parole offices many times with me...for that I am forever grateful. For whatever reason you were called to another place...Why is not a question for me to ask. I just know that your caring and compassion have left an indelible mark on the world. Rest in Peace my friend.

Posted by Elder N. RIley
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 11, 2010 at 12:56 pm

My Prayer today is to bring comfort to the Family of David Lewis, we pray that God comfort you. WE are going to miss Bro Lewis, he was what you call a leader and a man that brought change to people. David Lewis R.I.P.

Posted by Yvonne
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for letting me know that we can pick up the ball and fight the fight that David fought; I have a right to speak my mind and at such a time of pain; nothing is enough; perhaps you are the one judging me...I once worked very close with David in educating and counseling the community on how our behaviors open us up to HIV/HEPC; if I still resided in EPA, I would have continued to do the work; I believed in what David did and it is not judging the media, it is wanting it to be "big" for a big human"

Posted by Free-At-Last Gardening Club
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm


Posted by JB
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm

The community has definitely lost a great man and this is a tragic event. My condolences to his family and to the community and the people that he helped.

To the Palo Alto Online staff: are you sure this happened outside Mervyns? I was told (by a former employee) they all closed, and there is no Mervyns listed on the Hillsdale Mall map or store guide...

Posted by Cheryl
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I am very sorry to hear the news about David we have lost a man who did a lot for recovery of others his decation was not 9 to 5 his whole day was about helping others and I am deeply sorry for his family. He touch many lives even those who also work in the fild of recovery from all the staff at walden House at VSPW Charmaine, Venita,and Cheryl

Posted by Kenneth Michael & Ashanti Martin
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 12, 2010 at 9:21 am

A very Wise Man that always gave words of wisdom to us! First time i worked @ Free At Last was in 1996 putting out cookies & making coffee and also putting out papers so clients could take them to read! It eas amazing The Founder comes up to you and "How Are You" And smiles! Thats Makes You Feel Good knowing someone cares about You! David Lewis Jr. You Have A Wonderful Father! And Keep Your Head Up God Got Your Front & Back! Im here for you to! We Will always be D.M.C. Stands for David Michael & Chris! David Lewis Day N E.P.A.!

Posted by Kim
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I remember seeing David when I was very new to recovery about 15 years ago and he sat quiet in the back of meetings and just observed. When he did speak, his words were heard by all and he was so well spoken. He is known by all in recovery and his presence will be missed throughout the community. I hope he continues his miracle work in "heaven". He will be missed by many!!

Posted by Margaret Lewis
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2010 at 12:27 am

David I miss you my husband, my friend, my mentor, my rock! You are deeply, deeply missed, at times I feel like I can't even breathe, and food is not something I am able to swallow yet. I had a good, and productive day with your children, Shyvone, David Jr. & yes Zackary too, who all miss and love you, but we all know that God needed a herom in Heaven. I will carry on all the lessons you taught me, and will make sure I continue to carry the message of hope, and make you proud, I feel you looking down from Heaven, and that you continue to protect me. Thank you David for loving me unconditionally, and don't worry NO MATTER WHAT I won't take anything....................Your Wife

Posted by tommy higgins
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2010 at 4:00 am

thanks david for being a man of recovery my last e mail was from you agreeing to help me with a project i remember our last hug at the convention i have felt it all day

Posted by khadim ali rashid
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2010 at 8:47 am

To david lewis family I send my love and I want you to know that even if we can,t get to east palo alto we will be there in spirt. To David,s mother I would like to thank you for allowing us to spend this time with you,r son. For allowing him to teach us about love.I was bless to meet you,r son and work at free at last.I am now in south coralina but his work still move,s on love and respect

Posted by John Gonzalez
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I plan on nominating Mr. Lewis posthumously for a CNN Hero Award. Anyone else interested can visit Web Link

Posted by Nichole P
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2010 at 10:48 pm

David taught me to facilitate Framework for Recovery and breaking Barriers.His style of teaching made it easy to grasp the information and pass on to students.He also taught me wisdom to live by. David will be missed greatly. My condolences to his family. David is an ICON, who's memory will live on. God Bless your spirit David

Posted by EPA 4 Life
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Anyone with information should call Detective Rick Decker - 650-522-7654. Anonymous tips and text messages to 650-262-3472. Anonymous email

If you know something, do it for David please, even if you do it anonymously...

Posted by Grace
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm

There are no words to express our sadness in losing this great man. David left his wisdom behind with all those fortunate enough to know him. His legacy will live on through the lives of those he saved. The world is diminished by his loss, those he mentored must continue his work, and strive to fill those wonderful shoes. We will always love and miss you, David, or deepest condolences to your family. San Mateo Medical Center staff.

Posted by Keith R
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I would like to send my prayers to Mr. Lewis Wife, Mother & Children. Also to anyone he has ever reached out and touched by teaching or encouraging them to try and live a better life. I had the pleasure of meeting David for the first time two weeks ago.. he had came into the Hospital San Mateo Medical Center to eat Breakfast several times, he would order something and very patiently wait.The last time Mr. Lewis came in two weeks ago I commented if he had been on T.V. or had played Major League sports because he just had a very Professional demeanor. I shook his hand and we introduced ourselves to one another and he explained to me as a young brother what he has been doing for the County for the last 20 years. I can just remember his sincerity and his humbleness as he spoke. I was and will always be impressed with his Transformation in Life. God Bless his Soul.. Let's pass out flyers, keep the Media Police etc. on this until the person responsible for his Death is arrested & convicted.

Posted by Shannon Swain
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

David Lewis was a true agent of change. From his participation in the Gordon Graham videos, through the foundation and development of "Free at Last", he was a leader intent on showing the way to a better life. I knew David for man years, heard him speak, taught by his side, dreamed of various models for recovery programs, laughed with him. I never met anyone quite like him, he was an original, so full of life. He took things seriously but also kept his sense of humor and fun and could laugh at himself as well as anyone else. My deepest condolences go out to Margie and the rest of his family. He will never be forgotten and his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of all he ever influenced. Rest in Peace, David.

Posted by Lawrence Pender
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm

David Lewis was an early mentor when I began counseling and a friend. He taught me so much about recovery.David led by example. I spoke to him in late March 2010 after many years. We reminisced about the couple of years I worked at Free at Last at Walker and Imani House. It was a special time. James Toliver, Ronald Caracter,, "Shorty", Jerome, and I opened the first two men's residential facilities for Free at Last with David's leadership. It was a wonderful experience I will always remember and cherish. RIP DAVID LEWIS. Thank you for everything you've done to improve my life. Not to mention the thousands of other people's lives your path crosseed.

Posted by Michele O.
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I live in Southern Cali now. I just read this in the L.A. Times. I am stunned at his death. Its one of those where you say to yourself, "Oh please. Not him." I knew David in 1999-2001. He taught me everything that I value and admire about leadership in a non profit foundation.
I am now the exec director of a foundation out here. I just told my board all about David and Free at Last at our last board meeting a few days ago. I dont know why I didnt stay in touch with David. I feel a great sense that I will never again meet someone like him. I know EPA is grieving. My fervent prayer is that David's death galvanizes the community to support one another in their grief. Do not act out in anger and do anything you may be sorry for later. For a community to lose someone as larger than life as David Lewis was huge and my heart hurts for everyone affected. So please find ways to use what he taught us. Man, I just want to go hang my head and cry for a good while. I wish I could be there for the service.

Posted by yvette
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

To the family of David, keep your head high. He was a great man. I met David while working in one of the many facilities he visited. I am especially grateful to him for taking the time to educate me on how to better work with young men. He actually took the time to listen to others. His presence along commanded respect. Although, I could go on and on, I will stop and say my thoughts and prayers are with you. It was my pleasure to meet David (R.I.P.). Job well done, now others will have to continue the work!!

Posted by Mary
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I met David Lewis and Gordon Graham many years ago when several co-workers and I attended a 4-day Breaking Barriers training at Free at Last. We were so impressed with both of them, but especially David because he was still young and had made the decision not only to change his own life, but to work at helping others change their lives for the better.
I remember one of the lessons he taught us was about affirmations. His example was "I spend money wisely." He told himself that all the time. So shortly after getting out of prison with no money, he was able to buy a truck. He credited that to the affirmation he told himself over and over that he spends money wisely.
I have thought about him several times over the years and wondered if he was still doing that great work in EPA. I saw a reference to him today in an article and had to find out what happened. My sympathy and prayers go to his family and friends who I know are missing him deeply. May God bless you and give you comfort.

Posted by RJ McHatton
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

We are making a documentary about the life of David Lewis. We need more people to be interviewed about his life, but also about his murder. If you want to be interviewed for this documentary, please email RJ McHatton at Thanks, RJ McHatton, Inventive Productions

Posted by rosieposie61
a resident of another community
on Nov 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Being a drug education teacher, I have watched many videos with Mr Lewis. From the first time that I saw his presentation it was so believable and captured my students attention each time. I was looking up information for Echoing Green, unknown to me, an east coast organization that assisted him in his projects and was deeply saddened to see that he had been gunned down. I felt like I had personally lost a friend. I find myself sharing with my students the story of this GREAT GIANT HEARTED MAN. May all that he has touched with His Story and his famiy continue his work because I will.

Posted by Patricia A.
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2014 at 7:03 am

David had and will continue to touch so many lives... Being in and out of the prison system whether being an inmate of a vessel of God's work, (An Angel of Hope), I wonder if my dad would have received the message. May they both continue to rest in Glory. Thank you David L.

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