FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Branford Antwan Lewis, 33, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to a shooting death on Raleigh Street in Fort Smith, according to Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue.
Lewis is also charged with possessing or owning a firearm after having been previously convicted of a felony (Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons), Shue said.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, on July 9, 2021, at around 6:25 a.m., Fort Smith police received a call of an unresponsive man found in a gray 2007 Chevy Impala parked at 923 Raleigh Street.
Police arrived to discover the victim, identified as Herbert Brown, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
According to the warrant, while at the scene, a witness approached officers and reported that around 1:17 a.m. on the morning of the 9th, he was in the adjacent parking lot and heard several gun shots. Shortly after, he reportedly saw a black male wearing a black durag, black shirt, and black pants running from the area of the shots.
During the investigation, officers reportedly spoke with two people who were with the victim and suspect on the night of the shooting. According to the report, they told police Lewis was wearing a black durag, black shirt, and black pants and that he had been seen ‘waiving’ [sic] a gun.
The affidavit states that witnesses told police that, at one point, Lewis extracted a round and tossed it to them. They reported to police that it was a “federal brand round with a silver casing, instead of the usual brass casing.”
According to the arrest warrant, several silver shell casings had been found at the crime scene near the deceased victim.
Police say they also reviewed video from the area surrounding the crime scene, which they say shows Branford Lewis “running to the McDonald’s parking lot a few blocks from the murder scene a short time after the shots were fired.”
Lewis was arrested by Van Buren police and is currently being held in the Crawford County Jail awaiting transfer to Sebastian County.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Lewis admitted to officers that he rode in the car with Brown, but when they parked at 923 Raleigh Street, he walked to the McDonald’s.
His bond was set at $500,000 cash only.
Fort Smith Police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting death of Herbert Brown Jr.
According to Fort Smith police, detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of Branford Lewis. Lewis is facing charges of first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.
Police say Lewis was arrested on July 10 on unrelated charges.
According to Fort Smith police, Brown, 40, was found dead July 9 in the driver’s seat of a car with multiple gunshot wounds in the 900 block of Raleigh Street.
The investigation is ongoing. Police say more information will be released as it becomes available.
Police are asking anyone with information about the case should call 479-709-5100.