Authorities have reported the arrest of a funeral home owner who allegedly shot and killed a man and wounded a woman during a funeral service for a 10-year-old girl in Maryland.
On June 6, around 1:20 p.m., the Prince George’s County Police Department responded to a shooting incident at a cemetery in Hillcrest Heights, according to officials.
Upon arrival at the scene, law enforcement discovered 30-year-old Ronald Banks with an apparent gunshot wound, and another victim who had suffered a graze wound. Banks was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, where he tragically succumbed to his injuries.
Investigations led authorities to identify the suspect as 48-year-old Wilson Chavis, who owns and operates the funeral home in question. Chavis allegedly approached the victims while the burial service was about to commence and opened fire. Banks, serving as a pallbearer during the funeral, was specifically targeted, as stated by the police, told WRC-TV.
Law enforcement revealed that both victims had affiliations with a separate funeral service company, with whom Chavis had an ongoing business dispute. As tensions escalated, some attendees at the funeral became outraged by Chavis’ behavior and confronted him.
Following the shooting, Chavis fled the scene in his vehicle. However, he was later apprehended by an officer from the Morningside Police Department during a traffic stop.
The funeral was held in memory of Arianna Davis, a young girl who was tragically shot on May 14 and passed away three days later, as confirmed by the Metropolitan Police Department. A reward of up to $45,000 is being offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s).
Antionette Belk, Davis’ mother, expressed her profound trauma over the incident taking place at her daughter’s burial site. She shared her distress, stating, “I didn’t even get to lay her down, even to put her on the ground, and another incident happened. This is so traumatizing to me, my children, and my whole family. It’s trauma after trauma.”
Chavis has been arrested and is facing charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and other related offenses, according to officials.