Whoever shot and killed the founder of an East Palo Alto nonprofit at Hillsdale Mall Wednesday evening remains at large.
Palo Alto resident David Lewis, 54, was shot on the first floor of a parking lot around 5:40 p.m. in what’s being called a targeted crime at the west end of the mall, according to police.
Following 911 calls, Lewis was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
By the time police arrived, the shooter had left in a vehicle, and police Thursday morning were not releasing descriptions of the suspect.
Lewis founded Free at Last with a colleague in 1992 following drug turf wars that led to the murder of 42 people in East Palo Alto. They built a community recovery center that predominantly serves those in high-risk neighborhoods, according to the nonprofit’s website.
Hillsdale Mall officials declined to comment, saying they would release a statement later Thursday.
The manager of Romano’s Macaroni Grill at the center had just returned from a week off of work Thursday morning, and had heard about the incident on the news.
“Well, I’m not really worried because I just don’t think that someone’s going around shooting people. I think it was targeted,’’ Manager Charles Carson said. “It’s hard to say how the customers will react though, because everyone takes things differently.’’