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Man at scene of shootout held on probation violation

Donta Lewis was at the Dorchester shootout that left two police officers wounded and a suspect dead on Wednesday. He was held in court today on probation violation.
Donta Lewis was at the Dorchester shootout that left two police officers wounded and a suspect dead on Wednesday. He was held in court today on probation violation.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

A man who police said was at the scene of a Dorchester shootout that left two Boston police officers wounded and an alleged gunman dead was ordered held without bail Friday after being arrested in a crawl space in a Malden apartment.

Donta Lewis, 20, of Roslindale was charged with violating his probation from a previous conviction, but was not charged in Wednesday's shooting in Dorchester, a seemingly random burst of violence that sparked an intensive manhunt for a second suspect.

Authorities would not definitively say whether Lewis was that suspect, who has been described as armed and dangerous, but said he acknowledged being at the crime scene with Roudy Hendricks, a 21-year-old who police say opened fire on two drug-unit officers before he was shot and killed.


"He was, in fact, at that location" at the time of the shooting, Christine Walsh, a prosecutor with the Suffolk district attorney's office, said at a court hearing Friday.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said detectives are following good leads as they try to identify the second suspect, who authorities think was armed.

"The investigation into Wednesday's shooting remains very active," he said. "No one has been charged at this point, but detectives are following solid leads as they try to identify the second individual believed to have had a gun at the scene."

Police say Hendricks fired several rounds at two plainclothes officers as they approached him on Dorchester Avenue about 2 p.m. Wednesday. Police said his gun was recovered at the scene.

They are also investigating whether Lewis or anyone else also fired at the officers, who had leg wounds and have been released from the hospital.

Police said the officers, Harry Jean and Terry Cotton, were conducting an unrelated drug investigation when they saw two men acting suspiciously. When they approached the men, both reached into their clothes, and at least one opened fire.


Investigators were checking to see whether surveillance video was taken of the shooting.

Hendricks's mother said police told her both men fired at the officers, who were doing a stakeout on a drug house. She described her son as a good person who got in with the wrong crowd.

Boston police tracked Lewis to his girlfriend's apartment in Malden and found him Thursday afternoon hiding in a small storage space behind a closed door with a bed pushed against it, authorities said.

He had been hiding in the crawl space for "quite some time," Walsh said.

Jessica Dembro, Lewis's lawyer, said his probation violations were minor and asked the judge to place him under house arrest. She said he had registered in community college and has a child on the way.

"He is not charged with anything" related to the police shooting, she said.

Court records show that Lewis has previously been charged with larceny and disorderly conduct and pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property. In August 2012, police saw Lewis roll through a stop sign and attempted to pull him over, but Lewis refused to stop, according to a police report. When they stopped the vehicle, police learned it had been stolen from Quincy a few days earlier, the report stated.

Lewis has also been arrested in Malden for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, authorities said.

Lewis violated his probation by staying out past his curfew and failing to check in with probation. Dembro said he had tried and that probation knew his whereabouts.


Lewis is scheduled to return to court Aug. 30 for a hearing on his probation violation.

Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com or on Twitter @globepete.