By Henrietta J. Burroughs
East Palo Alto Today
December 21, 2010
A suspect has been arrested in the shooting death of East Palo Alto community leader David Lewis. The announcement of the arrest was made by San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer at a press conference at the San Mateo Police Department on Monday. The suspect Gregory Elarms, 58, of Pittsburgh will be arraigned today for Lewis' murder.
Manheimer said that Elarms was arrested early Sunday after a relentless six months investigation into Lewis' murder. According to Manheimer, Elarms contacted police investigators to give them new leads about Lewis' murder, but there were major inconsistencies in his story which caught the attention of police investigators.
Elarms who is an ex-convict had known Lewis since childhood. On June 9, Elarms allegedly followed Lewis in a parking lot on the west side of the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo and shot him once as Lewis got out of his car.
Manheimer said that there were words exchanged between Lewis and Elarms at the scene of the shooting. She also said that the police still do not know what led to the shooting.
Among those attending the press conference, announcing Elarms arrest, were several of Lewis' family members and city representatives from East Palo Alto and San Mateo, including Ron Davis, East Palo Alto's Chief of Police, East Palo Alto City Council member Ruben Abrica, Capt. Carl Estelle, who is with the East Palo Alto Police Department, San Mateo County District Attorney James Fox and San Mateo police detectives who actively pursued Lewis' murder investigation.
In July 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a $50,000 reward that would go to anyone coming forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Lewis' murderer(s).
Elarms is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, December 21 at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City.
Read a tribute to David Lewis that was posted by Free at Last, an organization that he founded in East Palo Alto.
See a televised tribute to Davis Lewis on YouTube here.