NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Those who know Steven Barton describe him in several ways. They said the 23-year-old has a great personality, wonderful sense of humor and loves to make others laugh.
Barton's mom, Sharlee Rodriguez, said her son looks out for his friends and family, including his sisters. Two nights ago, he was trying to look out for someone in need, and now a senseless act of violence has Barton fighting to stay alive.
Police said Barton stepped in to help a woman in a domestic dispute with Michael Keller on Wednesday night, when Keller shot him.
“He was trying to defend a woman and those who know Steven know that he's always will help a woman in need,” Rodriguez said.
Ever since the shooting, the community has rallied around Barton and his family. There's a Facebook fundraiser that's already raised over $2,000.
Barton's friends Justin Hayes and Courteney Simpson came up with the idea to make #bartonstrong stickers. Donations made from the stickers are going towards Barton and his family.
Barton's dad said the love and support are overwhelming.
“It's been amazing, everyone has been amazing,” John Barton said.
Anyone interested in purchasing a sticker can contact Justin Hayes on Facebook.
36-year-old Michael Keller is identified by police as the person involved in the shooting. Police secured multiple felony warrants for Keller, Assistant PIO Brandon Maynard said in a news release.
Police initiated a "tactical situation" around 5:51 a.m. Thursday and Keller was taken into custody on Canon Boulevard at Signature Contracting LLC.
Keller was arraigned in court Friday morning. His next court date is May 31.