Robert Braxton had apparently sat in a chair that was reserved for two other churchgoers. A man tapped on his shoulder, to which Braxton responded by saying “Don’t [expletive] touch me,” according to an affidavit obtained by NBC Philadelphia.
The shooter, Mark Storms, then whipped out a gun and told Braxton to get out of his seat, and showed his Concealed Weapons Permit badge.
“When he came over, he had a gun out, escalating the situation,” district attorney Kevin Steele said at a press conference, according to NY Daily. “Braxton then took a swing at the defendant, punching him in the jaw.”
“[expletive] you and your fake badge, get the [expletive] out of here,” witnesses recalled Braxton saying. “That’s not a real gun.”
— 6abcBreaking (@6abcBreaking) April 24, 2016
According to court documents, Braxton said “What are you going to do, shoot me?” before punching Storms.
Storms then shot Braxton in the chest and the arms. Braxton was rushed to a hospital where he later died.
He was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
“Storms’ shooting of Mr. Braxton was not a reasonable self-defense situation,” the district attorney said. “It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to bring a gun to church.”
Storms said that he used his gun in self-defense, and hoped that showing it would have defused the situation. His bail has been set at $250,000.