Public Safety

Iowa City woman who shot officer with BB gun faces theft charge

Cierra Lewis
Cierra Lewis

IOWA CITY — The Iowa City woman accused of shooting a police officer in the face with a BB gun now faces a theft charge for the incident that preceded the shooting.

Cierra M. Lewis, 25, was inside the Starbucks at 11 Highway 1 West around 3:30 p.m. July 29, according to an Iowa City police criminal complaint. A Starbucks employee saw Lewis with her hand near a tip jar and later noticed $1 missing from the jar, police said. A review of surveillance footage showed Lewis taking cash from the tip jar, police said.

The incident kicked off a chain of events that put Lewis and an Iowa City police officer in the hospital.

Iowa City police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation — which investigated the officer-involved shooting — said officer Michael Clark responded to the reported shoplifting. Lewis refused Clark’s commands and the incident escalated near a bus stop at 1200 S. Riverside Dr. Lewis pulled a BB gun on Clark and shot him multiple times, including in the face.

Authorities said Clark drew his weapon on Lewis and shot her. It has not been disclosed where or how many times Lewis was shot.

A second officer arrived and helped arrest Lewis. She and Clark were both hospitalized and later released.

Clark has been on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy. Lewis was booked at the Johnson County Jail on charges of willful injury causing serious injury and assault with a weapon on a police officer — both felonies — on July 30. She has remained in custody since her arrest.

Lewis now faces an additional charge of fifth-degree theft, a simple misdemeanor.


The DCI said last month it had concluded its investigation and turned it over to Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness. Lyness will review the DCI’s report and determine whether Clark was justified in his use of force.

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