A Denver man is charged with shooting and killing a Lancaster County man Sunday morning in West Earl Township, where the two men encountered one another in separate vehicles.
Stephen John Jones, 27, is charged with homicide regarding the shooting of the 68-year-old Steve Walker.
Investigators allege Jones, in his Chevy pickup truck, forced the victim to stop his vehicle just after midnight Sunday morning on Cats Back Road, a rural road south of Ephrata.
Jones then shot the victim through the open driver’s side window.
Jones was arrested Sunday about 12:30 p.m. at his place of employment in Denver.
West Earl Township police Detective Dawn Ray and Lancaster County Detective Brandon McAnally filed the charges Sunday evening, with approval from First Deputy District Attorney Travis S. Anderson.
District Judge Jonathan Heisse arraigned Jones on Sunday night about 10 p.m.
Jones, of West Maple Grove Road, is at Lancaster County Prison without bail and is presumed innocent.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact West Earl Township at 717-859-1411.
Police are investigating whether Jones and the victim knew each other prior to the shooting.
Jones was at a Sheetz on Route 322 in Ephrata a few minutes before the shooting.
Witnesses said - and surveillance video confirmed – Jones entered the Sheetz with a long gun and asked employees for a gas pump to be turned on. Jones exited the store and backed up his truck to a gas pump. He put the fuel nozzle into the truck’s tank and, soon after, drove off with the nozzle still in the truck. The hose became disconnected from the pump as Jones drove away.
(Jones is charged with robbery for the gas.)
A man on a bicycle near Cats Back Road told police he heard a gunshot blast and the sound of a shotgun being racked before seeing a Chevy pickup truck speed away from the area.
When police arrived, the victim was found in his Toyota, which was running and in reverse – the victim’s foot was on the brake pedal.
The victim was obviously deceased from a gunshot to the head. All the vehicle’s doors were closed, and windows were up – aside from the driver’s side window.
Later Sunday morning, a friend drove Jones to Jones’ pickup truck, which was parked in Farmersville. The friend saw a rifle in the truck and a spent shotgun shell in a cupholder.
We are respectfully requesting the media refrain from naming any witnesses (should that information become known) so not to endanger anyone, nor jeopardize the active ongoing investigation.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright