A Maryland funeral home owner angry at another company allegedly shot and killed a pallbearer during the burial of a 10-year-old girl who died in a drive-by shooting in Washington, DC, on Mother’s Day.
Arianna Davis, who was shot as she slept in her family’s car on May 14 and later died, was buried at Washington National Cemetery in Suitland on Tuesday when gunfire erupted, NBC Washington reported.
Wilson Chavis, 48, owner of Compassion and Serenity Funeral Home, allegedly killed Ronald Banks, 30, who served as pallbearer at the funeral, following a long-running business dispute with Freeman Funeral Services.
A woman who was Arianna’s cousin suffered leg injuries in the shooting, the girl’s mother, Antionette Belk, told the outlet.
Chavis, of Hughesville, Maryland, has been charged with first and second degree murder and attempted murder, according to Prince George’s County police.
The deadly violence erupted after the suspect, who provided funeral services, confronted a pastor and another person believed to be affiliated with Freeman Funeral Services, Fox 5 DC reported.
At the grave, Chavis looked at the pastor and shouted, “I’m here for y’all b—– a– n——!”, according to court documents. quoted by WUSA 9.
He then allegedly pushed the pastor and said, “This isn’t your f——funeral home,” according to the outlet.
When several mourners confronted him about “disrespecting family,” Chavis backed up, tripped over a nearby concrete vault lid, and fell, according to the documents.
He then got up, pulled a gun from his belt and opened fire, officials said.
The accused shooter was pulled over at a traffic stop soon after.
“I am so traumatized that this happened at my daughter’s burial site. I couldn’t even lay her down, even get her in the ground, and another incident happened,” Belk told NBC Washington.
“It’s so traumatic for me, my kids, my whole family. It’s trauma after trauma,” she said Wednesday.
The grieving mother said Chavis even shouted, “This body belongs to me!” and spat on the pastor before opening fire.
Glenda Freeman, who runs Freeman Funeral Services, recently filed a temporary peace order against Chavis for alleged threatening and harassing behavior, according to Fox 5 DC.
Among the employees for whom she sought protection were Pastor Joseph Fletcher and another person who works for her.
The temporary order was overturned early Tuesday, the day of the shooting, when the petitioner failed to show up for a hearing by 8.45am, the outlet reported.
Freeman and Compassion and Serenity Funeral Home did not immediately respond to the outlet.
The Post has contacted the Washington National Cemetery for comment.