UPDATE 2/18/2021 (3:51 p.m.) — Public Safety Director James Barber confirms the deaths are being investigated homicides. Barber says the fire damage is slowing the search for the cause of death and other evidence. Family members told WKRG News 5 they were shot to death and the house set on fire. Barber says it’s too early in the investigation to confirm that.
“We don’t know how it happened, but we do know someone came and did this. We know it was gruesome, like no one deserved to be taken from here like that. Not only our family, no human life. They had no regards for human life when they did what they did. This just don’t make no sense. You have hurt so many lives, daughters, sons, grandkids, great grandkids. You’re talking about a couple that had been together over 50 years. Everybody knew them and loved them. To know them was to love them. They didn’t deserve this. Who does something like this? When do they stop? When is enough is enough. Y’all done took two innocent people here that lived their lives and to be this age and to leave here like that – that’s crazy,” said Letecha Lang, a family member.
The family says Lelia and Tony Lewis were beloved. “My momma and my daddy was the head, and the tail, the roots,” said Tonika Jones, their daughter.
The family confirms one of their grandsons is local rapper HoneyKomb Brazy. In an Instagram tribute to the two, he wrote: “Long live grandma n grandpa y’all was my heart fr I put y’all in every song I hate y’all got caught up in my (expletive).” Jones said when asked about the rapper, “he’s broken, he’s broken. He doesn’t know how to feel. That was his momma not just his grandmamma. She was a mother to all our kids, she was more than a grandmamma, he was more than a granddaddy, he was a father, he helped us raise our children.”
The fire started around 6:30 Wednesday night on Dr. Thomas Avenue, and was so large, it spread to the home next door. Pearlie Howard lives there with her son, Jesse Hall. They say they didn’t see what happened, but heard the gunshots. “We hit the floor, saw bullets fly across us, so we got low and waited for 10 minutes and then finally came out of the house and we saw both houses on fire,” said Hall.
The family of the Lewis’ – now waiting and hoping for justice. “People like this though don’t need to be on the streets. People like this definitely need to be in prison,” said Lang.
ATF investigators have also been on the scene of the investigation.
UPDATE 2/18/2021 (10:58 a.m.) — Family members of the two people found dead after a house fire on Dr. Thomas Ave. in Mobile confirm they were the grandparents of local rapper HoneyKomb Brazy.
The family members identified the couple as Lelia and Tony Lewis. According to the family, they were shot and killed, and their home was then set on fire.
The rapper, whose real name is Nashon Jones, wrote about their deaths on Instagram, “Long live grandma n grandpa y’all was my heart fr I put y’all in every song I hate y’all got caught up in my (expletive) smh this hurt main I beg y’all to let me move y’all everyday but y’all taught me how to be stand up guy yall always told me if it’s our time it’s our time god got us that’s how ik y’all in heaven y’all baby boy got y’all fasho granny granny ima miss u bad already n ima fasho miss smoking that gas gas wit u grandpa y’all save me a spot cause I’m most definitely coming to see y’all”
HoneyKomb Brazy’s videos, like the one posted below, have millions of views on Youtube:
CAUTION VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE:
In new video obtained by WKRG News 5, a witness describes hearing gunshots moments before the fire started around 6:30 p.m. on Dr. Thomas Ave.
“All I heard was a boom. It sounded like a bunch of shots,” a man says in the video. “Lord have mercy. Don’t tell me they were up in there because Lord, I heard the children coming across the field crying.”
WKRG News 5 is working to get more information. Mobile police and Mobile Fire-Rescue are investigating.
UPDATE (10:10 p.m. 2/17/21): Mobile police have confirmed two people died in the house fire on Dr. Thomas Avenue North Wednesday night.
Police said firefighters discovered the two dead inside the home. Mobile Police and Mobile-Fire Rescue are investigating.
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Fire-Rescue crews battled a major fire in north Mobile tonight, and now Mobile Police are investigating.
The fire on Dr. Thomas Avenue North between I-165 and Telegraph Road destroyed one home and damaged another next door.
Mobile Fire-Rescue tells WKRG News 5 they couldn’t comment on the investigation, and Mobile Police say as soon as they can comment on it, they will.