Public Safety

Iowa City officer-involved shooting case turned over to county attorney

Findings could be released next week

Iowa City police investigate at 1200 S. Riverside Drive, Iowa City, on Monday, July 29, 2019. (Lee Hermiston/The Gazette)
Iowa City police investigate at 1200 S. Riverside Drive, Iowa City, on Monday, July 29, 2019. (Lee Hermiston/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s report into the July 29 shooting involving an Iowa City police officer is in the hands of the Johnson County Attorney’s Office.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said she received the report Thursday. She will review the DCI’s investigation and will determine whether Officer Michael Clark was justified in his use of force against Cierra M. Lewis, 25, who shot him with a BB gun.

“I hope to release my findings next week,” Lyness said.

The incident unfolded around 3:30 p.m. July 29. Authorities said Lewis, of Iowa City, was suspected of shoplifting at Starbucks, 11 Highway 1 West. Police responded, but Lewis refused Clark’s commands. The incident escalated near a bus stop at 1200 S. Riverside Dr. when Lewis pulled a BB gun and shot Clark multiple times.

Authorities said Clark was hit in the face and suffered a “serious injury requiring medical treatment.” Clark drew his weapon on Lewis and shot her.

The DCI said a second officer, Trai Bunch, arrived and helped arrest Lewis, who, according to Iowa City police, was carrying a “replica-style CO2 BB-pistol.”

Lewis and Clark were hospitalized.

Clark has been on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy while the shooting is under investigation.

Lewis was arrested after being discharged from the hospital and faces charges of willful injury causing serious injury and assault with a weapon on a peace officer. She remains in custody on a $75,000 cash or surety bond.

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According to court records, Lewis has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 17.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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