Family looks for answer in aspiring model's death

It has been nearly a year since an aspiring model, actor and artist was gunned down near his Southeast D.C. home and no one has been charged with the crime.

Demencio Lewis was on the verge of making a name for himself when his family believes he was lured into a trap and killed.

The motive is a question mark in a troubling case.

Lewis was shot more than a dozen times on Sayles Place, SE, just minutes after getting a phone call and leaving his home.

There is no way of being absolutely sure at this point, but his family believes he walked into a trap where as many as two gunmen opened fire.

Killing the 23-year-old for what? It is the answer to a question his mother would love to have.

Lewis loved the camera and the camera loved him back. Just a glance through his highlight reel gives you a sense of the 23-year-old's talent, style and poise.

"He was talented," said his mother, Sharita Lewis. "He was all over the place and then he started acting. He was on ‘The Good Wife,' ‘Ugly Betty,' ‘106 & Park,' so he did a lot of stuff."

And when acting and photo shoots weren't enough, Demencio started writing.

He was at a club in Suitland rapping one of his tunes that was uploaded to YouTube just days before he died.

"Most kids ask for basketballs or footballs or video games," his mother said. "He asked for Nikon or Canon cameras, high-tech phones, high-tech computers. That's the kind of stuff he would put on his Christmas list."

He was also openly gay -- something his family thinks may have had something to do with his death.

"I hear his voice every day," Sharita Lewis said. "He says, ‘Mommy, find out who killed me so they can be brought to justice.'"

Demencio Lewis was found shot to death in the middle of Sayles Place at around midnight on March 13, 2014.

Police accounts at the time said four men in hooded sweatshirts were seen leaving the area in a black Hyundai Sonata.

Sharita Lewis says she has been told two guns were used to kill her son who left their home that night after getting a call from a friend. That person, according to Lewis, has been questioned by D.C. police.

"Demencio is not the type of son to get into fights," Sharita said. "He doesn't have enemies … He might have people who envy him, in terms of being jealous or what have you, but he didn't have enemies. People would come up to him and say, ‘You Demencio? I saw you on such and such or such and such and you are funny.'"

His family believes Demencio was on the verge of making it. But instead, he is just another life cut short. And for what?

That is what Sharita Lewis and her family would like to know. The mother of three boys has now lost two of them to murder.

Her son, Avery, was killed in a domestic-related fight the year before in Prince George's County.

The killer has been convicted and is now behind bars.

There is a standing $25,000 reward for information now in Demencio's death.

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