Day care owner shoots husband at DC hotel, claims he molested children in her care

A Maryland woman is due in D.C. court Monday, after telling police she shot her husband at the Mandarin Hotel in Southwest D.C. because she said he had been sexually abusing children at the day care she runs.

According to charging documents and police reports, around 7:40 p.m. Thursday night, D.C. police responded to reports a man had been shot on the eighth floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at 1330 Maryland Ave. SW.

When officers arrived on the scene, they were told by hotel management that a fire alarm had gone off in room 853. When management opened the door to that room to check on the alarm, they observed blood on the wall.

When officers approached the door to the hotel room, they were able to engage the defendant, 50-year-old Shanteari Weems of Randallstown, Maryland, through the door. Weems was asked by officers to exit the room so they could check on the condition of the victim, identified as her husband, a retired Baltimore City police officer.

WTOP is not naming the victim since he has not been charged with any crime.

For approximately a half-hour, police negotiated with Weems through the door to gain access to the victim, during which time she made statements including “If you come in, I’m going to shoot myself” and “F### him, he’s a child molester,” according to case reports.

When the victim could be heard through the hotel room door saying he had been shot in the head and leg, Weems said “Shut the f### up, I will kill you.”

When police determined the victim was inside the room and in need of aid, they forced entry, whereupon they detained Weems. Weems surrendered a gun in her purse and indicated other weapons were in the room, but she didn’t know where.

Police said injuries to the victim were not life-threatening.

A subsequent search of the room discovered two shell casings and another firearm in the hotel safe. Police say they also recovered handwritten documents within a notebook, the contents of which could be seen in plain view.

According to case reports, the recovered material contained phrases like “I’m going to shoot (the victim), but not kill him,” “I’m going to paralyze you,” and “My only regret is that I didn’t put a bullet in your head.”

One letter contained an apology to her “babies,” stating “I didn’t know.”

In an interview with detectives, Weems said she had been told by children, parents and teachers at the Lil Kidz Kastle day care she operates in Owings Mills that her husband had been molesting children there.

She also told detectives the allegations of abuse had been reported to authorities in Baltimore. She also said she didn’t intend to kill her husband and that she was having thoughts of harming herself.

In a statement Sunday, Baltimore County police said that Lil Kidz Kastle will remain closed as the investigation continues to unfold.

“Baltimore County detectives are currently monitoring the recent developments in Washington, D.C.,” Sgt. Gladys Brown said in the statement. “Due to the sensitive circumstances leading up to this incident, the Baltimore County Police Department continues to support the families impacted.”

Further on in the interview, Weems stated she had driven from Maryland to D.C. on July 20 to meet with her husband at the hotel. According to the case report, Weems said she confronted her husband about the accusations on the night of July 21.

When the argument got heated inside of the hotel room, Weems said her husband began to “go toward” her. That’s when Weems says she retrieved a handgun from her purse and shot her husband.

Among the handwritten letters officers retrieved from the crime scene was an apology to the children she worked with at the day care center that concluded with a makeshift last will and testament.

Weems was arrested on charges of assault with intent to kill, and has also been charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition and other gun-related counts. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Monday.

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Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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