Funeral company owner charged in shooting at Maryland burial that left pallbearer dead

A funeral company owner is facing charges for allegedly killing a pallbearer and wounding a woman at a burial for a young child in Maryland this week, police said.

Wilson Chavis, 48, of Hughesville, faces charges of first and second-degree murder, attempted first and second-degree murder and others in the shooting at a Suitland cemetery Tuesday afternoon, the Prince George’s County Police Department said in a press release Wednesday.

According to police, the burial service was preparing to get underway when Chavis confronted two people affiliated with a second funeral service company with which Chavis has "a long-standing business dispute."

"Several funeral attendees became upset with Chavis and confronted him over his behavior," police said in a statement. "The preliminary investigation suggests Chavis pulled out a gun and fired two shots, striking both victims."

A sentence doomed him to die in prison. Then something unexpected happened.

Chavis fled the cemetery in his vehicle, police said. An officer with the Morningside Police Department saw Chavis several minutes later, stopped him and took him into custody, police said.

Officers responded to the cemetary around 1:20 p.m. and discovered Ronald Steven Banks, 30, of Washington, suffering from a gunshot wound. He later died at a hospital. A woman was also grazed by gunfire, police said.

The burial was for 10-year-old Arianna Davis, who was fatally shot in D.C. on Mother's Day when a hail of bullets flew through her family's car, NBC Washington reported. Davis's mother, Antionette Belk, said the argument and subsequent shooting at the cemetery was unrelated to her family, the outlet reported.

A spokesperson for the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office declined comment. USA TODAY could not immediately reach Chavis for comment.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wilson Chavis charged in Maryland funeral shooting of pallbearer