The bar at American Legion Post 148 was closing, and Eric Smith thought someone was talking about him.
Smith got into Jabron Totton’s face and asked if he was that someone. Totton’s response was peaceful.
I love everybody like a brother, Totton said as he stood in the post’s parking lot.
But Smith, known as Smitty, wasn’t having it. You’re not my brother, he told Totton.
An argument ensued, and voices were raised. Smith pushed Totton, Totton pushed Smith. Then all of a sudden gunshots erupted.
Wounded, Totton fell to the ground. Smith walked away, got into his vehicle and drove off.
This account of the June 9 shooting that killed Totton was outlined in court documents filed Monday. The details came from two witnesses interviewed by Fort Wayne detectives and from surveillance video, according to the documents.
Smith, 36, of the 6000 block of Oakmont Road, was arrested late Friday on a preliminary charge of murder. He was being held without bond Monday night at the Allen County Lockup.
The morning Totton was shot, one of the witnesses called 911 shortly after 3 a.m., and emergency workers came to the lot at East Lewis and South Hanna streets. Medics took Totton in critical condition to Lutheran Hospital, where he later died, court documents said.
Totton was 37. A city resident, he attended Wayne High School and IPFW, and he was self-employed, according to his Facebook page. He had two daughters, an obituary said.
Including this case, Fort Wayne police have made arrests in connection with five of the 22 homicides tallied this year in the city. Four of the homicides were the result of shootings by police. One of the men killed by officers, Kenneth Knight, pulled a woman from a bus and fatally shot her March 20, police said. As a result, that case is considered cleared.
Totton’s death was the city’s most recent homicide in what, so far, has been a particularly violent year that has sparked outrage among residents and prompted community leaders to call for peace.