On Sunday Morning, April 24th, Robert Braxton, 27, of North Wales was shot and killed following an altercation during services at the Keystone Fellowship Church. Today, charges were filed against the accused shooter, Mark T. Storms, 46, of Lansdale. Per the Montgomery County DA, the charges are voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment. Voluntary manslaughter charges carry a maximum sentence between 10 and 20 years in prison.
(Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R.) Steele gave the following account:
Braxton, a member of the church, was sitting in a back overflow area when another congregant tapped him on the shoulder and told him he had taken an already-occupied seat.
Ushers and others chose to clear the area and let Braxton cool down. But Storms, who is a church member but has no official role at Keystone Fellowship, approached him.
Storms asked Braxton to step outside with him, and Braxton punched him in the face.
Storms told police he was “trying to stop him because I was afraid he was going to hurt me and other people,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in the case.
But firing a gun in a crowded church is “unreasonable,” Steele said Thursday, as is the suggestion that Storms acted in self-defense.
“This is a situation where a gun is introduced into a fistfight,” he said.
The arrest affidavit filed in the case noted that Braxton came to church “only armed with his Bible.”