Friday June 9, 2023 – A funeral home owner upset with another company allegedly shot dead 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 (pictures below), who was shot while asleep in her family’s car on May 14 and later died, was being buried at Washington National Cemetery in Suitland on Tuesday, June 6 when gunfire erupted, according to reports by NBC Washington.
Wilson Chavis, 48, the owner of the Compassion and Serenity Funeral Home, allegedly killed Ronald Banks, 30, who served as a pallbearer at the funeral, as a result of the long business dispute with a competing funeral home known as Freeman Funeral Services.
According to reports, a woman who was Arianna’s cousin suffered a leg wound in the shooting.
Chavis, 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 services for the funeral, confronted a pastor and another person who were reportedly affiliated with Freeman Funeral Services.
At the gravesite, Chavis looked at the pastor and yelled, “I’m here for all you b—–a– n——!,” according to court documents.
He then allegedly pushed the pastor and said, “This ain’t your f—— funeral home,” according to the outlet.
When several mourners confronted him about “disrespecting the family,” Chavis backed up, tripped over a nearby concrete vault lid and fell, the documents state.
He then got back up, pulled a gun from his waistband and opened fire, officials said.
The accused gunman was arrested at a traffic stop a moments later.
“I’m so traumatized that this happened at my daughter’s burial site. I didn’t even get to lay her down, even to put her in the ground, and another incident happened,” Belk told NBC Washington.
“This is so traumatizing to me, my children, my whole family. It’s trauma after trauma,” she said on Wednesday, June 7.
The grieving mother said Chavis even yelled, “I own this body!” and spat at the pastor before opening fire.
Glenda Freeman, who heads Freeman Funeral Services, recently filed for a temporary peace order against Chavis for alleged threatening and harassing behavior, according to reports by Fox 5 DC.
Among the employees she sought protection for was the pastor, Joseph Fletcher, and another person who works for her.
The temporary order was dismissed early Tuesday, the day of the shooting, when the petitioner failed to appear for an 8:45 a.m. hearing, the outlet reported.