A man at the center of a federal child pornography investigation was killed Thursday morning as agents attempted to serve an arrest warrant at his home outside Manassas.
Douglas Clayton Lewis, 56, appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an exchange of gunfire with agents in the 9500 block of Covington Place off Sudley Manor Drive, according to police.
No one else was injured.
A search warrant affidavit unsealed Thursday details a 13-month investigation into Lewis’ computer activities.
The investigation began in July 2012, and his townhouse was raided on Oct. 18, with agents seizing more than 800 computer files. Of those, agents found 50 images of child pornography and 157 pornographic videos, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. It doesn’t appear Lewis was arrested at the time, but he did admit to agents that “he used search terms like “10-year-old” and “11-year-old” when he searched for child pornography files,” the complaint stated.
Among the computer files, agents found child pornography videos of pre-teens and children as young as 4 to 6 years old, some from Russia, the search warrant affidavit stated.
On Thursday morning, after receiving information that the exchange of child pornography continued on a work computer issued to Lewis, agents again raided his home about 6 a.m.
“As federal agents approached the home, they encountered the suspect exiting the residence,” Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok said in a news release. “The suspect ignored commands by the agents and fled down an alleyway in between two townhomes.”
Agents confronted Lewis in an alley, where he “brandished a handgun and pointed it towards the agents,” Perok said.
One of the agents fired on Lewis, striking him in the lower body. Lewis ran behind a fence, where he was found dead with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Perok said.
Residents in the townhouse community said the neighborhood is normally a quiet one and the early-morning gunfire rattled everyone. But they said they weren’t surprised by Thursday’s raid since the house had been targeted before and computers seized.
Some neighbors said they thought authorities raided the wrong house in October.
Heidi Lang, who lives a few houses down from Lewis described him as a "nice guy" and said he was a "gun enthusiast" who collected firearms.
"He was a quiet guy who kept to himself," said neighbor Jeff Settle
Lewis' neighbors said they never saw children, or other guests visit his house, and until October they had no reason to suspect anything was amiss at his house.
Rosie Ellyson, who lives across the street from Lewis' house, said the incident left her feeling "flabbergasted."
"I wouldn't say shocked, but I am definitely disappointed," she said. "I guess you can never be sure who your neighbors are." ..Source.. by InsideNova