A man accused of fatally shooting a construction worker who was directing traffic in D.C. allegedly used a racial slur before shooting the man at point-blank range.
Terrance Barnes, 29, appeared in court Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder while armed in the April death of 57-year-old Barry Holmes.
Holmes' family says he was directing traffic around a repaving project on Southern Avenue SE when he was shot.
Police spoke to nine witnesses and one of them who knows Barnes identified him as the shooter, according to an affadavit.
Court documents said Holmes told Barnes not to cross the street. Barnes then allegedly used a racial slur to describe Holmes and told a woman to run because he was going to end the construction worker's life.
When Holmes stood up, Barnes shot him at point-blank range in the chest, the witnesses said.
However, Barnes told an entirely different story in a statement to detectives. He said he pulled the gun because Holmes swung his sign at him, documents said. Barnes said there was a struggle over the gun and Holmes wound up pulling the trigger and shooting himself.
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Court documents said Barnes told police he threw the gun in a river and burned his clothes.
The judge said Barnes had tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids, the Associated Press reports.
It's unclear if Barnes has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf.