Man Charged With Attempted Murder Over Shooting of Train Photographer

The railroad tracks on Chelsea Avenue and Bayliss Avenue in North Memphis where the photographer was shot while taking pictures of trains. | Google Street View.

A man has been detained by police for allegedly shooting a photographer during a botched robbery attempt while he was taking pictures of trains in Memphis last week.

32-year-old Steven Painter faces charges of attempted first-degree murder and attempted especially aggravated robbery after police were called on November 19.

The incident occurred when the photographer was taking pictures of a train in North Memphis. According to the victim, Painter approached him in a Green GMC Yukon, offering him help before demanding money.

When the photographer informed Painter that he had no money, Painter allegedly tried to rob him of his phone and threatened him with a gun.

Stephen Painter mugshot
Stephen Painter, 32, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder.

In an attempt to escape, the victim ran towards his car and Painter shot at him, striking him in the shoulder through the car’s windshield.

According to Wreg Memphis, the photographer underwent surgery for a broken shoulder but is expected to make a recovery.

Police also connected Painter to an incident from the previous day, where he fled from them in a Nissan that had been stolen from a hospital garage; police say the man who owned it was caring for his wife following a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital.

Bodycam footage from an officer who stopped the Nissan helped identify Painter as the suspect in the shooting of the photographer who later picked out Painter from a photo lineup.

Investigators revealed that the Green Yukon used by Painter in the attempted robbery belonged to his grandfather.

Court records indicate that Painter has a criminal history, including a guilty plea for auto burglary in July 2022 and a conviction for theft of property up to $10,000 in 2013.

Painter faces additional charges including theft of property, evading arrest, reckless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked license, employing a firearm during a dangerous felony, and illegal gun possession as a felon.

He is set to make a court appearance on Wednesday and is being held on a $275,000 bond.

Last April, PetaPixel reported on a photographer who was shot at while taking pictures of the Dallas skyline.