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Police: Maryland fatal shooting of 3 happened after parking dispute

Police: Maryland fatal shooting of 3 happened after parking dispute

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A man was charged in a shooting that killed three men — including a father and son — and wounded three others after a neighborhood dispute over parking during a party, police said Monday.

Charles Robert Smith, 43, of Annapolis, was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, assault and other offenses in the shooting that happened Sunday evening, Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson told reporters at a media briefing.

Smith surrendered to authorities Sunday night without incident, the police chief said, and he was ordered held without bond Monday. Police recovered both a semi-automatic handgun and a long gun at the scene.

Jackson identified the victims as Nicholas Mireles, 55, of Odenton, Maryland; Mario Antonio Mireles Ruiz, 27, of Annapolis; and Christian Marlon Segovia, 25, of Annapolis.

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Police responded to call for help at a home around 7:50 p.m. Sunday and found six people had been shot. The three wounded were in stable condition Monday and expected to survive, Jackson said.

The dispute arose over parking during a party, authorities said in charging documents.

“We know that those things did occur,” Jackson said at a news conference when asked about the parking dispute, but he declined to elaborate on a motive for the shooting.

The dispute happened after Smith’s mother, Shirley Smith, called a local parking enforcement employee to complain that a vehicle was blocking their driveway, according to charging documents obtained by news outlets.

Mireles Ruiz went to Smith’s house to talk about the issue, police wrote. Then an argument broke out between him and Smith’s mother. When Smith came home, he confronted Mireles Ruiz, according to the charging documents. After the argument turned physical, Smith allegedly pulled out a gun and shot both 27-year-old Mireles Ruiz and Segovia.

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Other people at the party responded and saw Mireles on the ground, the documents said. When some ran over to the house, Smith went inside his house. Then, Smith allegedly began shooting with a long gun out the front window of his house, killing Nicholas Mireles, Mario Mireles Ruiz’s father. That is also when he shot the other three people, according to charging documents.

Smith told police he started shooting because someone shot at his house, according to the charging documents. But witnesses told authorities they did not see any of the victims with guns.

Authorities were not ruling out the possibility of investigating the shooting as a hate crime, Jackson said.

“We aren’t ruling anything out,” Jackson said. “Ostensibly, our suspect is a white male and the three victims are Latino. But we can’t draw any inferences from that. We have to look at every possible angle.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, who spoke in English and Spanish at a news conference with Jackson and local officials at the city’s police department, said local police and officials have his full support “in this dark hour.”

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“As we speak, my office is moving in coordination with our local, our state and our federal partners, and we will ensure that all authorities have the resources that they need to investigate this heinous act, and support the people of Annapolis,” Moore said.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman noted it has been nearly five years since five people were killed in a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis. He recalled at the news conference how local officials running for office were asked by residents what they would do to prevent a mass shooting like that from happening again.

“So, I apologize that we did not stop mass shootings in this town,” Pittman said. “They have not stopped in this country. We have worked together, and we will continue to work together.”

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are helping the investigation, Jackson said.

Published: 2023-06-13 01:10:26

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