Employee of Jeffersonville tire shop accused of shooting, killing co-worker

Updated: Jul. 11, 2019 at 12:20 AM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) – Police made a quick arrest in a deadly shooting at a tire shop in Jeffersonville.

Bobby Powell, 19, is charged with murder. (Source: Clark County Jail)
Bobby Powell, 19, is charged with murder. (Source: Clark County Jail)

The shooting was reported inside the Big O Tires, located at 2550 Allison Lane, around 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jeffersonville Police Department Lt. Isaac Parker said.

When officers arrived, they discovered an employee had been shot. The victim was taken to University Hospital, where he died. He has not been identified.

Police said the suspect, who was another employee at the store, was still there when they arrived. Officers soon arrested Bobby Powell, charging him with murder on a day that happened to be his 19th birthday.

Police believe Powell got into a verbal argument with the victim, and that’s when the shooting happened in front of customers at the store.

“I dropped my car off this morning around 9:30, and one of my co-workers told me (later) there was a shooting up here," Big O customer Kelsey Traughber said. “(It’s) really sad that something like that could happen so close to somewhere I work, and somewhere in our community. My heart just goes out to family members and everyone involved."

WAVE 3 News has received a threatening picture possibly shared by the suspect on social media Wednesday. Police confirmed they are looking into the suspect’s Instagram account and a post that went up two hours before the shooting.

Police reassured the public the shooting was an isolated incident.

Family members identified the victim as 30-year-old James Winters.

The family of James Winters said he was the man shot to death Wednesday. (Source: Facebook)
The family of James Winters said he was the man shot to death Wednesday. (Source: Facebook)

The victim’s family told WAVE 3 News this isn’t the first time to two men have been at odds.

They weren’t ready to go on camera, but they said Powell’s actions were not in self defense. They claim Powell pointed the gun at Winters a day before the shooting, as well.

Police have not confirmed the victim’s family’s claims.

“I’m heartbroken, but I wish that in our society today that stuff like this wasn’t happening still," Traughber said. “It seems like it’s more and more common, there’s more and more homicides happening, and at a car shop.”

Powell faces charges of murder, having a gun within 500 feet of a school and possession of marijuana.

Jeffersonville police said they plan to release more information Thursday morning.

Big O Tires closed Wednesday after the shooting. The store said it would open Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but only for customers needing to pick up their cars. Business hours Friday will be normal.

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