JEFFERSONVILLE — The man charged in a fatal shooting at a Jeffersonville business Wednesday admitted to police that he shot the victim, court records show.
Bobby L. Powell, 19, was arrested after police responded to what they later described as "an isolated act of workplace violence" at Big O Tires on Allison Lane around 11 a.m. Wednesday. When responders arrived at the business across the street from Jeffersonville High School, they found in one of the service bays a man who had suffered a gunshot wound. The victim, who police identified on Thursday as James Winters, Jr., was taken to University of Louisville Hospital and pronounced dead.
Powell was formally charged Thursday afternoon with murder, carrying a handgun without a license within 500 feet of a school and possession of marijuana. He has an initial hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4.
In a news conference Thursday morning, police confirmed that both men, who were employees at Big O, were working the day of the shooting. Police say there was a verbal altercation between the two earlier in the day, and that there was an "ongoing issue" between them. JPD Lt. Isaac Parker said police were not aware of any prior violence involving Powell and the victim.
Court records show Powell told police he and the victim had been arguing throughout the day, and said that at one point the victim, who was unarmed, started advancing toward Powell and said he wanted to fight. Powell told police he then shot the victim once in the chest with a .380 Ruger LCP, a semiautomatic handgun, which he owned. Parker previously reported that the victim had been shot in the torso. Powell did not have a permit for the gun, which was recovered at the scene.
Powell had been disarmed by a co-worker and was on the scene when police arrived. He was immediately detained without incident. At the police station, he waived his rights and again admitted to shooting the victim, according to court records.
In response to a claim reported by a Louisville media outlet Thursday morning that Powell acted in self-defense in the shooting, Parker would only say that police conferred with the Clark County Prosecutor's Office and determined that murder was the most appropriate charge. Powell's story was corroborated by witnesses and video surveillance.
Investigators also learned of a threatening social media post alleged to have been posted by Powell just prior to the shooting. The post shows "what is presumably Bobby's hand holding a gun consistent with the murder weapon." Police seized his cell phone.
A voicemail recording at Big O on Thursday said the shop would reopen Friday.
This was the second fatal shooting this week in Jeffersonville. Eli Elliott, 35, was shot Monday at Greenwood Apartments and later died at the hospital.
Reporter Aprile Rickert contributed to this report.