The father of the man shot dead at a Pennsylvania church on Sunday has said he forgives the killer but wants him to face justice for what he has done.
Robert Braxton, 27, died when he was shot by 46-year-old Mark Storms after an altercation at Keystone Fellowship Church in Montgomeryville last Sunday morning.
Braxton's father, also Robert Braxton, told Action News he forgave Storms but wanted to see justice done. "Even though I have so much pain and so much hurt from the life he took away from me, Mark I forgive you man, and my family forgives you, but you must pay for this crime that you did."
Storms has been charged with voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment. Announcing the charges, district attorney Kevin Steele said the incident began when Braxton objected to being asked to move from his seat.
"Braxton was creating a disturbance during the 11am church service after a fellow church member sitting behind him touched his shoulder, apparently telling him that he'd taken an already occupied seat," Steele said.
Witnesses say church ushers and an associate pastor calmed the situation and Braxton remained in his seat. However, Steele said: "Witnesses then saw the victim calming down and saw the shooter come over. When he came over he had a gun out."
Storms showed a concealed weapons permit badge he had bought on the internet and told Braxton he had to leave the sanctuary. Braxton punched Storms and Storms fired two shots from his handgun, killing Braxton.
Steele said: "It is clear the shooter brought a gun to a crowded church, he introduced that gun into a verbal altercation that turned into a fistfight, and then fired the gun twice aiming at the vital part of the body, killing the victim."
If Storms is convicted on both charges he faces more than 20 years in jail.