Warrants accuse girlfriend of man who shot officer in Fort Mill of lying to police, feds

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comJanuary 8, 2014 

— A day after he was accused of shooting a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer trying to serve him a warrant in Fort Mill, a wanted felon remained hospitalized, receiving treatment for gunshot wounds to his legs, federal authorities said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the suspect’s girlfriend remains behind bars in York County, accused of lying to police and federal agents when they asked her Tuesday morning where they could find him, according to police documents obtained by The Herald.

Authorities said Officer Shane Page, a 13-year veteran with CMPD and a member of the department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, was shot after opening a door inside 314 Brookside Drive in Fort Mill’s Foxwood neighborhood.

Police had been looking for James William Lewis, wanted for armed robbery with a deadly weapon after they say he held up a Mecklenburg County Jack in the Box at gunpoint last month.

Members of CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, York County Sheriff’s deputies and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force descended on the home at about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Officers surrounded the house, but “after several minutes on knocking on the front door, no one answered,” according to a York County Sheriff’s report released Wednesday.

Using a loudspeaker, officers ordered Lewis to come to the front door, the report states. Minutes later, a woman left the house and officers spoke with her. Police walked inside the house. Several minutes later, authorities heard gunshots. After Page was shot, a shootout ensued and a bullet struck Lewis in the leg, police said. Two officers from the criminal apprehension team walked out of the house with Page, who was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Page underwent surgery Tuesday morning and is expected to recover. No York County deputies fired any shots or were injured in the fray, sheriff’s spokesman Trent Faris said.

While inside the house, officers spoke with Kirstie Barratt, Lewis’ 21-year-old girlfriend who lived at the Brookside Drive home. Warrants for her arrest show that Barratt claimed she last saw Lewis two months ago when they broke up. Police found Lewis hiding in her upstairs bedroom. Barratt was arrested and charged with obstructing justice. She was being held Wednesday night at the York County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.

Both the FBI and the State Law Enforcement Division are investigating the shootings. Aside from the robbery warrants, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department does not plan to file additional charges against Lewis, said CMPD spokesman Keith Trietly.

Lewis is in law enforcement custody but remains hospitalized in Charlotte, said Shelley Lynch, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Charlotte office. She would not confirm whether Lewis will face federal charges.

“It would be premature at this time to say whether Lewis will face state or federal charges; that is what our joint investigation will determine,” she said.

Willy Thompson, deputy 16th Circuit solicitor, said Lewis will face charges in York County since the incident happened in Fort Mill.

“There could be federal charges because the officer was with the federal task force” and sworn in as a federal officer, Thompson said. Lewis will have to be extradited to York County to face his charges, whatever they may be, he said.

“Whether it comes from the York County Sheriff’s Office or the feds is up in the air,” he said. “Both can (file charges).”

Lewis has no criminal history in South Carolina, but records show that several charges filed against him in North Carolina were dismissed over the last decade. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to felony possession of cocaine and was sentenced to two years’ probation.

His probation was revoked in 2001 when he was convicted of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of schedule II drugs, North Carolina criminal records show. He was released five months later.

It’s unclear how officers learned Lewis was at the Fort Mill home. Neighbors told The Herald he did not live there.

Herald writer Andrew Dys contributed to this report.

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