FORT HOOD, Texas (WNCN) — A Fort Hood-based soldier who was shot to death in Killeen, Texas on Monday was from North Carolina, according to Killeen police and Fort Hood officials.
Pvt. Justin Antwan Lewis, 19, of Henderson, was found shot around 11 p.m. Monday in the 700 block of W. Avenue C, according to police. Police arrived on scene in response to a call of shots fired near a vacant lot a few blocks from the military post. Upon arrival, officers found Lewis not breathing and suffering from multiple gunshots. He was pronounced dead just after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
According to Fort Hood officials, Lewis entered active-duty service in August 2016 as a cavalry scout and was assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at the base since February.
Lewis had received awards and decorations including the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Vance County Schools Public Information Officer Terri Hedrick said that Lewis was a 2015 graduate of Southern Vance High School. Teachers said they’ll always remember Lewis’ smile.
“He was one of the good ones. He was very good. Gentle, gentle young man, with lots of character and a gorgeous smile,” Stephanie Ayscue said.
They said the 19-year-old was living a dream he’d had for years — being a soldier.
“A lot of students take ROTC as an elective,” she said. “Some take it as a career path, and his was a career path. He knew he wanted to go into the military.”
The Southern Vance staff say they pride themselves in being a family, and says losing a student — even a graduate — is like losing a relative.
“He’s still one of our students, and he’s fresh on the mind, so I think that makes it even worse,” Rey Horner said.
Lewis’ death is currently being investigated as a homicide by Killeen police.