The owner of a funeral home in Maryland has been arrested after gunning down a pallbearer at the burial of a 10-year-old girl.
On Mother’s Day, 10-year-old Arianna Davis was asleep in her family’s car in Washington D.C. when she was suddenly shot and killed.
During her burial at Washington National Cemetary last week, one of the pallbearers was gunned down reportedly over a business dispute between funeral companies.
48-year-old Wilson Chavis, the owner of the Compassion and Serenity Funeral Home, showed up at the gravesite and became confrontational with the pastor and another person who were both affiliated with Freeman Funeral Services, according to Fox 5 DC.
Chavis reportedly yelled, “I’m here for all you b****a** n*****!” then shoved the pastor, saying “This ain’t your f***ing funeral home.”
Several attendees at the burial tried to intervene and, according to court documents, Chavis backed up and tripped over a concrete vault lid.
He then got up, pulled out a gun from his waistband, and opened fire on the mourners, shooting dead 30-year-old Ronald Banks – a close family friend and pallbearer for the funeral – and wounding one of Arianna’s cousins.
Chavis fled the scene in his car but was later apprehended and taken into custody. He has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and attempted murder, according to the Prince George’s County police department.
“I’m so traumatized that this happened at my daughter’s burial site,” Arianna’s mother Antionette Belk told NBC Washington. “I didn’t even get to lay her down, even to put her in the ground, and another incident happened. This is so traumatizing to me, my children, my whole family. It’s trauma after trauma.”
According to Belk, the argument between Chavis and the rival funeral home had nothing to do with her family who was caught up in the middle.
According to Fox 5 DC, the head of Freeman’s Funeral Services, Glenda Freeman, had filed for a temporary peace order against Chavis in May after he allegedly threatened and harassed her employees over the phone. However, the order was dismissed early on the morning of the shooting because the petitioner did not appear for the 8:45 a.m. hearing.