Police in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have arrested a man they say fired several rounds into a house late New Year’s Day, killing a 56-year-old woman sitting at her kitchen table inside.
Sammie Warren, 23, of Bowie, Maryland, is charged with first-degree murder, assault and several firearms offenses in the Jan. 1 shooting death of Filomena Vazquez.
In a news conference Monday, Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between Warren and Vazquez’s son over the sale of a used car.
“This is a pointless act of violence perpetrated on an innocent woman who had spent the day — New Year’s Day — celebrating with her husband and her family,” Stawinski said.
The police chief said an open Bible was found on the kitchen table where Vasquez was sitting, and he said he believes she was having a quiet moment of reflection after a holiday spent celebrating with her family when she was shot and killed.
“An innocent woman was murdered sitting in her kitchen,” Stawinski said. “That kind of conduct is simply horrible. Simply horrible.”
Police said the motive from the shooting was a dispute over a used car that Vazquez’s 29-year-old son had sold to Warren on Christmas Eve via an app called OfferUp. After the sale, Warren became upset with the condition of the car and demanded a refund. After his demands were denied, Warren escalated to making threats against the family, according to police.
Police said it was about 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Warren walked up to the front of Vazquez’s house in the 7400 block of Varnum Street and fired into a window, a wall and a vehicle. Vazquez was struck by several rounds and died at the scene, police said.
“He just shows up at a residence and just starts arbitrarily firing into this home,” Stawinski said. “And this could have been much worse. There were several children in that home that could have been injured or killed.”
Police said after identifying Warren as a suspect, they tracked him to his home on Kenhill Drive in Bowie. When officers showed up with a search warrant, Stawinski said officers saw him grab a gun and run to the back of the home.
After repeatedly ignoring commands and resisting arrest, Warren was tackled by officers and suffered a minor head injury, according to police.
Warren is being held without bond at the county department of corrections.