Photo: KRISTON JAE BETHEL/AFP/Getty Images
The owner of a funeral company shot two people at the burial service of a girl, killing a man who was serving as the pallbearer, authorities said Tuesday.
Brian Fischer, manager of the media relations division for the Prince George’s County Police Department, said that Wilson Chavis, 48, shot and killed Ronald Steven Banks, 30, when they were at a burial service for a girl his company organized at a cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.
Another woman was also injured during the shooting, for which she was taken to a hospital. Authorities indicated that she only suffered minor injuries, for which she was released shortly after.
The funeral where the shooting occurred was that of the 10-year-old girl Arianna Davis, who was shot to death while driving with his family in northeast DC on Mother’s Day last month. Her murder remains unsolved, according to NBC Washington.
Chavis allegedly confronted two unidentified individuals affiliated with another funeral company “with whom he has a long-standing business dispute” as the burial was about to begin around 1:20 p.m., according to the police department.
“Several funeral attendees became upset with Chavis and confronted him about his behavior,” the police department’s Facebook post said.
during the confrontation Chavis allegedly fired two shots and then fled in his car. until a Morningside Police Department officer pulled him over at a traffic stop, according to authorities.
Banks was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Chavis faces first and second degree murder, first and second degree attempted murder and related charges, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Davis’ mother, Antionette Belk, told NBC Washington that Banks was a close family friend. that he intervened when Chavis began to get angry, and that the woman who was shot was Davis’s cousin.
Belk alleged to the local station that Chavis yelled “I own this body!” and he spat at the preacher, who was Davis’s uncle, which started a confrontation.
He assured that the discussion between Chavis and the rival funeral home “had nothing to do with me and my family.”
“I am so traumatized that this happened at my daughter’s burial site. I couldn’t even put her down, or even put her down, and another incident occurred. This is very traumatic for me, my children, my whole family. It’s trauma after trauma,” Belk said.