Cellphone store employee shot after teasing gas station worker about earrings, police say

A 28-year-old gas station employee is in custody and is accused of shooting a man who worked at a nearby store early Saturday morning in East St. Louis.

Seef Bani-Fadel, also know as “Safe,” of Millstadt, was charged Monday with aggravated battery with a firearm. He is in jail in lieu of a $250,000 bail.

East St. Louis Detective Ronald McClellan said police received a call from a man who said he had been shot inside the Citgo Gas Station at 25th Street and Louisiana Avenue. Around the same time, Bani-Fadel called the police department reporting he had shot someone who tried to rob him.

The man who was shot working in the cellphone store next door to the Citgo Gas Station.

He told police he was video-chatting with someone when he began teasing Bani-Fadel about wearing earrings in both ears.

Bani-Fadel then knocked the man’s phone out of his hand and the man picked up his phone. Bani-Fadel came around the counter and slapped the phone out of his hand again, McClellan said. The two began pushing each other.

“The suspect pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the thigh,” McClellan said.

McClellan said the man was treated at St. Louis University Hospital and released.

The man had only been working at the cellphone store for between three or four weeks, McClellan said.

Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.
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