Fear Thy Neighbor is investigating the murder of Giancarlo “John” Banova, who died from a hail of bullets after engaging in a shootout with his neighbor, James Stapleton, in a quiet neighborhood in Nevada’s Las Vegas in 2015.
On May 7, 2015, Banova and Stapleton’s longstanding feud culminated in a dramatic shootout just outside their homes; this ended with both men injured.
The 60-year-old Banova was hit in the head with several shotgun wounds and was transported to a hospital, but tragically he lost his life a week later.
Stapleton was hit in his chest and arm, but his injuries were not severe, and he was quickly released from the hospital. However, the police soon picked him up and charged him with homicide.
Shootout between John Banova and James Stapleton caught on security tape
Luckily for the investigators, the whole shootout was recorded on Banova’s home surveillance system. Unfortunately, the videotape didn’t make all the answers clear, such as, who shot first?
The footage showed the two men arguing with each other as Banova backed out of his drive. He then drives back towards his drive, at which point, both men can be seen firing their weapons. Banova fired six shots from a .380-caliber handgun, and Stapleton blasted at least four shots from a shotgun. The other houses on the street were reportedly riddled with bullet holes.
When investigators spoke to other neighbors, they learned that Stapleton and Banova had been quite close at one time, but for some reason, their relationship soured and became toxic. It’s thought a lot of the bitterness came from late-night noise disputes.
Stapleton had severely incriminated himself by sending the following text to his ex-girlfriend shortly before the shooting: “You might not hear from me again. I think I’m going to put an end to my problem with my neighbor- can’t take it anymore.”
When his case got to court, Stapleton claimed he was innocent and that he had acted in self-defense. However, he later switched to a guilty plea for second-degree murder. He was also convicted of the use of a deadly weapon. He will have to serve a minimum of 14 years behind bars.
More from Fear Thy Neighbor
Follow the links to read about more feuding neighbors who resorted to violence and murder.
In a similar case, Jeffrey Weigle and Dean Keller from Greenwood, Indiana, had been arguing and fighting for nearly a decade when, one day, in 2017, they pulled out their handguns and had a shootout over the fence in the yard. Weigle was hit four times in the chest, and Keller escaped injury. The police concluded Weigle was a fault for the gunfight.
Charles “Pete” Richter was a retired Baltimore cop who, according to neighbors, seemed to want to pick a fight with everybody on the street. The cops say, one day, he sneaked up behind Mark Xander and shot him in the back.
Fear Thy Neighbor airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.