Funeral home owner allegedly shot 2 at child funeral service, killing pallbearer, police say

The owner of a funeral home is facing murder charges after he allegedly shot two people at a child’s funeral service, killing a man serving as a pallbearer, police said.

Wilson Chavis, 48, allegedly shot and killed Ronald Steven Banks, 30, of Washington, DC, on Tuesday as Banks attended a children’s funeral service held by Chavis’ company at a cemetery in Suitland, Maryland. A woman was also grazed in the shooting, police said. His condition was not immediately clear Thursday.

NBC Washington reported the funeral was for 10-year-old Arianna Davis, who was killed by a hail of bullets while driving with her family in northeast DC on Mother’s Day last month. last. His murder remains unsolved.

Chavis allegedly confronted two unidentified people affiliated with another funeral home “with which Chavis has a long-standing business dispute” as the burial was about to begin around 1:20 p.m., police said.

“Several funeral attendees became angry with Chavis and confronted him about his behavior,” the police department’s Facebook post said, adding that Chavis allegedly fired two shots at the time.

Ronald Steven Banks.  (Courtesy of the Banks family)

Ronald Steven Banks. (Courtesy of the Banks family)

Chavis then allegedly fled in his car until an officer from the Morningside Police Department stopped him during a traffic stop and took him into custody, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Banks was pronounced dead in a hospital.

Chavis faces charges of first and second degree murder, attempted first and second degree murder and related charges, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department. It’s unclear how much jail time he could face if convicted or has a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

A spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Police Department could not be immediately reached Thursday.

Davis’ mother, Antionette Belk, told NBC Washington that Banks was a close family friend who stepped in when Chavis started getting upset and that the woman who was shot was a cousin of Davis.

Belk alleged to the local station that Chavis shouted “I own this body!” and spitting on the preacher — who she claims was Davis’ uncle — as the confrontation began.

Arianna Davis.  (DC Police Department)

Arianna Davis. (DC Police Department)

Belk added that the row 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 lay her down, even put her in the ground, and another incident happened. It’s so traumatic for me, my children, my whole family. It’s trauma after trauma,” Belk told NBC Washington.

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