Family slain in 7th Ward home
6th August 2012 · 0 Comments
By Zoe Sullivan
A mother, her adult son and her daughter-in-law were murdered over the last weekend of July at 1914 Old Prieur Street. Consuella Lewis, Kevin Lewis and Lachandra Lewis were shot to death in Consuella Lewis’ home. These were three of the seven lives lost to murder over the weekend, raising the current toll to 120 deaths this year.
The following Tuesday, a crowd gathered in front of the house to commemorate the lives lost and to plead for justice. Hymns mingled with screams of grief from bereaved family members as the sun faded behind the 7th Ward’s homes. Clergy members from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Reaping the Harvest, a full gospel Baptist church, led those assembled in pray and song.
“We call on this entire community. Somebody got to say something. Somebody know something. Somebody heard something,” Reverend Norwood Thompson, Jr. of the SCLC exhorted the crowd. “If we had one of our young daughters or young sons hung from a tree, the whole community would be upset,” Thompson admonished while affirming that he and others were there to stand with the family.
“Today it’s this family, tomorrow it really could be yours,” said Pastory Troy Lawrence, Sr. of Reaping the Harvest.
According to a spokesperson with the New Orleans Police Department, investigators from the NOPD’s homicide division, federal agents, Silence is Violence, a community organization, and counselors from the District Attorney’s office have cris-crossed the neighborhood looking for information about the case. The same spokesperson told The Louisiana Weekly that the exact time of death has not been determined as yet.
Crystal Lewis, sister and daughter to the deceased, spoke solemnly to the media during the vigil. “They didn’t deserve it. My Mama worked too hard. Too hard. And I never expected her to leave me like this.”
Those at the vigil told The Louisiana Weekly that Lewis’s brother had been visiting his mother with his wife. They had come from Texas.
“Anybody, please come forward and say something,” Gilda Davis said as tears streamed down her face. “I lost my only sister, my nephew and my niece-in-law. I lost my son in September of 2011. I lost my father, my brother, I lost my son, and now it’s my nephew and my only sister…This needs to stop.”
In spite of the heat and humidity, Thompson wore a white t-shirt over his suit. “This is a t-shirt indicating the gun buy back,” he explained. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has been organizing the initiative annually, but is now working to hold the event twice a year. “Thus far we have taken thousands of weapons, hundreds of assault weapons. And the more we can get these out of the folks’ hands, we realize that one gun can spare a life,” Thompson told The Louisiana Weekly.
“We know about the second amendment, the right to bear arms…We need to have some better gun laws. I don’t think we need to have assault weapons purchased on the street,” Thompson said, underlining his belief that assault weapons are only intended for hunting human beings. “I thought when we came back from Katrina that we would have more love.”
Services for Consuella and Kevin Lewis were held Saturday August 4 at Reaping the Harvest at 5123 Dauphine Street in the Lower 9th Ward.
The NOPD told The Louisiana Weekly that it is pursuing leads in the case but that it is too early to discuss them publicly. Information related to the Lewis family murders can be shared with authorities by calling Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or NOPD homicide at (504) 658-5300.
This article was originally published in the August 6, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper