Tribute to Marshal Lewis

Marshal Raymond B. LewisMarshal Raymond Burr Lewis historical photos 

Seventeen-year-old Manuel Perez was a fugitive wanted for shooting two Denver police officers. Despite an extensive manhunt, he eluded authorities until the tragic day of Feb. 14, 1946. In an attempt to lay low, Perez came to Castle Rock, where he believed he would not be recognized.

While sitting in the B&B Café (corner of Wilcox and Fourth streets), patrons who had seen newspaper photos recognized Perez. They summoned the only law enforcement officer in Town, Marshal Raymond Lewis.

When Marshal Lewis arrived at the café, Perez became suspicious and attempted to leave. Lewis approached Perez and told the wanted teenager to put his hands in the air. Instead, Perez quickly turned on Lewis and pulled a revolver from his coat. He fatally shot Lewis twice. A bullet struck Lewis at point-blank range in the chest, while the other grazed his shoulder. Defending themselves with a flowerpot and a hunting knife, café customers jumped on the gun-wielding murderer.

Several shots were fired during the struggle. One of the customers was shot in the hand, while Perez suffered a grazing shot to the ear. Perez eventually was subdued and held until Undersheriff Duncan Lowell arrived and made the arrest. A bullet hole still can be seen in the café’s ceiling near the ceiling fan. Another is in the back of the bar.

Lewis was survived by his wife, Ruth, and their four children Bob, Wayne, Donna, and Marlene.

Perez subsequently was convicted of first-degree murder. As a minor, he could not receive the death penalty and instead was sentenced to life in prison. He later was killed in a prison knife fight.