Robert Braxton was killed at church service over a seat.
Mark storms 46, shot fellow parishioner Robert Braxton III, 27, during service on Sunday
“What are you going to do, shoot me?” victim asked
Gunman flashed concealed weapons badge then opened fire, blasting victim
DA believes badge purchased online
‘… what type of christian brings a loaded gun to church?
What christianly sermon was he listening to? What type of christian believes a seat is worth the life of a human?
Was there pre-existing animus?
What ‘frontier’ badge confers the powers of instant executioner?’
In a show very unchristianly behavior, a churchgoer opened fire on a fellow parishioner at a Pennsylvania church when a fight broke out over seating in the sanctuary, on Sunday.
The argument started when a churchgoer told Robert Braxton III, 27, he was sitting in seats reserved for two other church members during Sunday service at the Keystone Fellowship Church, according to district attorney Kevin Steele.
He yelled “don’t f—ing touch me” after a church member tapped him on the shoulders to let him know he was in someone else’s seat.
Witnesses said Braxton started causing a fuss over the seat, but soon calmed down after talking to a church usher and a pastor. But the situation soon turned violent when Mark Storms, 46, approached Braxton, carrying a gun in his hand and telling the 27-year-old to get out of the sanctuary. Mark Storms, 46, flashed a concealed carry badge before opening fire on Braxton, killing him.
Photo: Montgomery County DA
Mark Storms, 46, flashed a concealed carry badge before opening fire on Braxton, killing him.
The gun-toting suspect then flashed a Concealed Weapons Permit badge, which the district attorney’s office belives was purchased online.
“When he came over, he had a gun out, escalating the situation,” Steele said at a press conference on Thursday. “Braxton then took a swing at the defendant, punching him in the jaw.”
“F— you and your fake badge, get the f— out of here,” witnesses recalled Braxton telling Storms. “That’s not a real gun,” another witness remembered hearing.
Just before punching Storms, Braxton asked, “What are you going to do, shoot me?” according to the court records.
The gunman then opened fire, blastting Braxton once in the chest and again in the right arm.
Photo: ABC 6
Montgomery County district attorney Kevin Steele said there was no reason to ever bring a gun to a crowded church.
Braxton was rushed to Abington-Lansdale Hospital, where he died from his multiple gunshot wounds.
The 46-year-old gunman 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.
Steele said Storms had no reason to bring a loaded gun to a crowded church on a Sunday morning, and had no right to confront Braxton, who was in the process of calming down.
He added that an average of 250 to 300 people attend that church’s Sunday service each week.
Photo: ABC 6
The Keystone Fellowship Church held a special service on Monday after the deadly shooting.
“It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to bring a gun to church,” Steele said.
The victim’s family was outraged that their loved one’s life was ripped away at church.
“You don’t go to church to be killed, you just don’t do that,” Diana Walters, Braxton’s aunt, told WPVI. “He’s a young man. He had his whole life ahead of him.”
The Keystone Fellowship church held a special service on Monday to mourn Braxton’s death.
“Our hearts are deeply grieved over the tragic event that occured Sunday morning, April 24 at our Montgomeryville campus. As a church family, we are shocked and heartbroken over what took place, and our congregation is in prayer for everyone involved,” the church wrote in a statement on Facebook.
At Storms’ arraignment, the alleged killer insisted that he used a weapon in self-defense. His bail is set at $250,000. Storms told police that he was hoping to defuse the situation by showing a gun, which, according to court documents, he’s done in the past.