Stephen Barnes Held in Gas Station Shooting Death of Stephon Way

Stephen Barnes was ordered held today on suspicion of first-degree murder while armed in connection with a shooting that killed one man and injured a teenage girl.

Charging documents in the case against Barnes allege that the victim, Stephon Way, may have been the instigator in the fatal confrontation between the men. The shooting took place at a Benning Road NE gas station at about 4 a.m. on Dec. 10.

One witness to the shooting said Way began talking to Barnes as soon as Barnes exited his vehicle at the gas station. The witness said it appeared as though Way was “trying to instigate a response” from Barnes.

What are you looking at. This Bitch motherfucker don’t want no work, he don’t want no smoke,” the witness said Way said.

Another witness said others in the car with Way tried to placate Barnes.

He’s drunk; it’s not even worth all that; chill out,” the witness said others in the car told Barnes.

But according to the accounts of three witnesses, Barnes instead produced a handgun and shot at Way, killing him and injuring a 16-year-old girl who was also in the car.

Barnes was arrested after a surveillance photo of the street near the gas station recorded a photograph of a car described as being the one the shooter was driving. The license plate from the photo was traced to a rental car associated with Barnes. One witness identified Barnes in a photo line up.

In court documents detectives on the case noted that when Barnes was arrested a .45 Caliber Sig Sauer pistol was found in his home. Cartridge casings found at the scene of the shooting were also .45, but ballistics tests haven’t been completed to determine if the casings match the weapon.

An assault rifle with a large capacity magazine was also found at Barnes’ home. His attorney, Premal Dharia, pointed out to the court that there is no allegation that the assault riffle is related at all to this shooting.

Barnes is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing before Judge Thomas Motley on Jan. 20.

Read the charging documents below.

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