Man slain outside San Mateo shopping center honored 

The nonprofit co-founder who was slain outside Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo will be honored Thursday during the 17th anniversary of the group.

David Lewis, 54, co-founded the East Palo Alto nonprofit Free at Last that provides services including substance abuse treatment and transitional housing.

Lewis was killed in a shooting on June 9 in the parking lot of the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo.

"Obviously he's a big loss for us because he's one of the founders," said Gerardo Barragan, Free at Last's executive director. "He's been missed, and he's going to be missed today."

The center was celebrating its 17th anniversary Thursday afternoon with an open house and tour. A ceremony and dinner were scheduled follow, and are to include a speech by Roland Williams, a well-known counselor on addiction issues in the Bay Area.

In December, police arrested a suspect in Lewis' killing, Gregory Elarms. Police believe Elarms followed Lewis to the shopping center from the nearby San Mateo Medical Center where Lewis was conducting HIV testing and counseling.

The motive for the shooting has not been determined, police said.

Elarms, 58, of Pittsburg, pleaded not guilty to murder Jan. 4, and is scheduled to reappear in court for a preliminary hearing Feb. 18.

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