A North Philadelphia man - charged with killing one man and wounding five other people in a June shootout in a Nicetown bar after he was ejected for smoking - was held for trial this morning by a Philadelphia judge.
Municipal Court Judge Kenneth J. Powell Jr. ordered Wayne James to face trial on murder, attempted murder and related charges in the early morning violence on June 26 at the Genesis Bar on Wayne Avenue, near Roberts Avenue.
James, 45, was arrested three days after the shootings based on eyewitness identification of the gunman's face captured on the bar surveillance video.
Several people wounded in the shootout testified at the preliminary hearing, again identifying James as the patron who was ejected for refusing to stop smoking. James returned moments later, witnesses testified, and began firing through the front door of the popular neighborhood reggae bar.
Carl Sharper, 43, of Germantown, a city Water Department employee who was drinking beer with his cousin, was hit once in the head and died on the scene.
Jerrell Johnson, 33, a Cheltenham Township volunteer firefighter and paramedic, described the chaos inside the bar when he said James stuck a gun through the bar's front door and started shooting.
Johnson, who was shot in the back, shoulder and leg, said he was near the door when James began firing.
"I just started shouting for everyone to get down," Johnson testified. As he tried to flee toward the rear of the bar, Johnson, said he felt the first shot hit him in the back.
Johnson testified that James, whom he had never before seen at Genesis, had been told to stop smoking by one of the bouncers. Instead, Johnson said, James blew smoke into the bouncer's face and was ejected.