The incident took place at the 76 gas station at 1111 17th St. SE at 12:50 a.m. on Dec. 16. (Google Maps)

The incident took place at the 76 gas station at 1111 17th St. SE at 12:50 a.m. on Dec. 16. (Google Maps)

Man charged with assault after shots were fired at Auburn gas station

When the clerk on duty at an Auburn gas station during the early morning hours of Dec. 16 wouldn’t sell him cigarettes, Robert Dean Lewis couldn’t take it, according to the Auburn Police Department.

And when he left the store, he fired several shots into it, hitting no one but endangering three people inside, police report.

On Jan. 10, 2022, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged the 22-year-old Algona man with two counts of second-degree assault, and, because he is a convicted felon, with one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He is being held in King County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Lewis was previously convicted in King County Superior Court of eluding a pursuing police officer, and in Grant County Superior Court of attempting to elude.

According to the Auburn Police Department’s Certification of Determination of Probable Cause, here is what happened.

As witnesses told police shortly after the incident, they saw Lewis leave the 76 gas station at 1111 17th St. SE at 12:50 a.m. on Dec. 16, presumably upset at being denied the sale of cigarettes. In-store video recorded at least one customer and two employees inside of the store’s small cashier area at the time.

According to documents, as Lewis left the store, he drew a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the employees, then, just as he was about to enter his car, he turned and fired several times into the store.

“When the defendant fired several times into the store, [he] fired at a window that was directly behind the employees and customer,” Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer L Phillips told the court at Lewis’ earlier bail hearing. “Given the bullet holes and bullets found inside the store, the employees and any customers inside were in the line of fire, and luckily nobody was injured in this incident. The requested bail is necessary.”

According to court records, when Lewis committed his latest alleged offense, he was awaiting trial in three felony cases out of the city of Kent dating to 2020, for:

• Stealing a motor vehicle and eluding a pursuing police officer;

• Stealing three motor vehicles, and being in possession of the three vehicles, a total of six charges;

• Then, while he was awaiting trials in the first two cases, prosecutors allege, he stole another motor vehicle and again eluded a pursuing officer.

On Oct. 14, 2021, according to court records, Lewis was granted a temporary release for the three pending cases to attend his father’s funeral. He was specifically ordered to be released to his mother at 11 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2021, and to return to jail no later than 5 p.m. on the same day. He didn’t, so on Oct. 25, 2021, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest and set bail a total of $150,000 for all the pending cases. He was arrested on those warrants at the time of his booking in the present incident.

Summing it up, since March 2020, court records say, Lewis has racked up eight stolen vehicle charges and three eluding charges, and when he committed most of those, he was on pre-trial release.

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