A Maryland funeral home owner is accused of killing a pallbearer at a funeral service for a child this week.
The Prince George’s County Police Department claims Wilson Chavis gunned down a rival funeral service operator Tuesday afternoon. The victim, 30-year-old Ronald Steven Banks of Washington, D.C., was helping carry the casket of a 10-year-old girl when he was killed.
Cops said Chavis confronted Banks and another person while the burial was getting underway at Washington National Cemetery.
“Those individuals are affiliated with a second funeral service company with which Chavis has a long-standing business dispute,” police claimed.
The alleged shooter’s company was handling the service. Several people attending the funeral reportedly became upset with Chavis when he addressed his rivals. That’s when cops say he killed Banks and fired a second shot grazing a female attendee. The suspect fled in his car, but was quickly apprehended by authorities.
“I’m so traumatized that this happened at my daughter’s burial site,” grieving mother Antionette Belk told NBC News4. “It’s trauma after trauma.”
Belk claims Chavis yelled “I own this body” and spat on a preacher before opening fire. The preacher was the dead child’s uncle. According to Belk, her family had “nothing to do with” the parties involved in the conflict at her daughter’s funeral service.
News4 reports the girl was killed last month when a bullet hit her family’s car while they were returning from a Mother’s Day celebration in Washington D.C. Police believe the killing was unintentional.
Charges against Chavis include first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.