Smith, 20, is accused of fatally shooting Sheffield, 24.
Charging documents state that a witness saw Sheffield ride his bicycle past a group of black males standing on the sidewalk on the west side of the 1100 block of 21st Street NE. One of the two witnesses relied upon in the affidavit reported that:
as [Sheffield] was riding by, four black males from the group began firing multiple gunshots at him. [The witness] reported that [Sheffield] did nothing to provoke the gunfire. [The witness] further related that [Sheffield] was struck by gunfire, which caused him to fall off of his bicycle and fall to the ground. After being fired upon, [Sheffield] produced a gun and began firing in the direction of the group of males who were shooting at him. [The witness] reported that it saw [Sheffield] stumble and collapse behind some vehicles parked on the east side of` the street.
According to charging documents, when officers responded to the scene around 1:45 a.m., they found Sheffield suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital and was immediately admitted into surgery. Sheffield died shortly after 9 a.m. The autopsy report states Sheffield’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back.
Smith was arrested on Oct. 20, after being identified by another witness from a nine-picture photo array.
During court proceedings today, Smith’s attorney Liyah Brown argued that there was insufficient evidence for probable cause because witness statements cited in court documents were inconsistent.
While two witnesses say that multiple men who had been standing on the street fired at Sheffield as he rode past on his bike, Brown said one witness could not identify Smith, and the other gave two versions of events in two interviews. Inconsistencies also arose when one witness said that Sheffield did not provoke the attack but returned fire when shot at, while another witness did not see Sheffield fire a gun. Brown argued that it was not clear who shot first, and that her client could have been acting in self-defense.
Court documents show, and the U.S. Attorney stated in court, that preliminary findings from ballistics determined that at least three firearms were used during the shooting, and that the Metropolitan Police Department firearms examination is still in progress.
A preliminary hearing for Smith has been scheduled for Nov. 18 at 9 a.m., in front of Judge Gerald Fisher.
Read charging documents below.