Witnesses describe mayhem before York County shooting that left security guard dead

Contact Reporterjoreyes@dailypress.com
Man charged with killing security guard fired at ground before fatally shooting security guard, witnesses say

Three witnesses to a fatal shooting testified Tuesday that a fight broke out and a shot was fired at the ground before a security guard was shot to death after a night-before-Thanksgiving party at a York County restaurant.

Following the testimony of the three witnesses at a preliminary hearing in York-Poquoson District Court, a judge ruled there was probable cause for the case to continue to a grand jury in Circuit Court.

Around 2 a.m. Nov. 24, Richard Irvin, 42, was shot and killed while working security for a tent party at the County Grill & Smokehouse, 1215 George Washington Memorial Highway. Later that day, the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office charged Coleston Ryan Lewis, 27, with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Lewis was arrested in Newport News on Nov. 30.

At Tuesday's hearing, Jerry Haywood, who was also working security at the bar that night, said they started telling people to leave around 2 a.m. He called the process "very disorderly" and said a fight broke out that the security team had to break up.

Haywood said he didn't think Lewis was involved in the fight, but saw Irvin, who is called "Bird" by most who know him, pushing Lewis away from the fight. After that, he said, Lewis pulled a gun from his waistband and fired it at the ground. Irvin, who deputies said did not have a gun, pulled out a collapsible baton and tried to disarm Lewis, Haywood said.

Jason Cibrin, who was business partners with Lewis and knew him for about 15 years, said Lewis showed him a gun he had recently bought a few hours before running into him at the County Grill. Cibrin said he had been out that night celebrating his brother's birthday and had 10 to 15 drinks between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. He said he didn't see the altercation that broke out, but he heard Lewis shout at someone to get away from him. Cibrin said he then went toward the commotion and saw Lewis shoot at the ground.

Cibrin said he wasn't afraid of Lewis because they were friends, and he told Lewis he needed to run away and get out of there. Lewis ran, and Cibrin said he heard more shouting, then gunshots and was told that Lewis had shot someone.

Erin King, a bartender at County Grill, said she served Lewis a couple of beers that night. Later, around closing time, she heard the fight break out and said she was about six feet from Lewis when he pulled a gun. She said he pointed it at Irvin before shooting at the ground. King said she ran inside the tent and hid, then went into the restaurant where she was told that someone had been shot on Route 17 in front of the restaurant.

After he saw Lewis fire, Haywood ran to his truck to get and load his handgun, a 9 mm Glock. Haywood said he kept it at the "low and ready" and from the grassy area between the parking lot and Route 17, saw Irvin running after Lewis. He said Lewis shot Irvin multiple times near the median of the road. Haywood said he shot at Lewis four times from the grassy area along the road. None of the shots hit Lewis, but one hit a store across the street, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Lewis will appear in York-Poquoson Circuit Court on June 15.

Reyes can be reached by phone at 757-247-4692.

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