NewsKansas City Public Safety


Olathe man now facing murder charge after medical examiner declares death homicide

Olathe Police
Posted at 9:22 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 22:22:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Olathe man is charged with the murder of his stepson after the county's medical examiner declared the victim's death a homicide.

Christopher Barwick, 51, had been charged in Johnson County District Court with attempted murder in the shooting of Bryson Smith, 26.

The charge was amended to first degree murder on May 3, according to court records.

Police found Smith just before 6 p.m., April 23 in an unfinished basement in a house in the 800 block of South Windsor Road in Olathe, according to a court document.

Smith died two days later.

Barwick told police the day of the shooting he had gotten into an argument with Smith about nearly setting the kitchen on fire, according to the court document.

He told Smith to get his belongings and leave the house.

Barwick admitted to police he shot Smith, but said Smith came at him with a knife and he shot him in self defense.

Officers found a knife with a white pearl handle under Bryson's left hand, according to the court document.

Barwick continued to claim to police he shot Smith in self defense.

Video found in a living room camera showed Barwick walk into the kitchen just before he made the 911 call and go out of sight of the camera.

A short time later, Barwick is seen on camera walking from the kitchen with a white-handled knife, according to the court document.

The video shows Barwick walk to the basement stairs and out of sight of the camera, the court document states.

A judge set Barwick's bond at $500,000.

He is scheduled to be in court for a hearing on May 12.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.