A complaint over parking led to the mass shooting in Annapolis Sunday night that left three dead and three wounded, police reported.
Charles Robert Smith, 43, shot the six people on Paddington Place near Edgewood Road after his mother, Shirley, called a parking enforcement employee to complain about a vehicle blocking their driveway, police allege. He has been charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder and assault.
At a briefing on Monday afternoon, Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson identified the three men who were killed as Nicholas Mireles, 55, of Odenton; Mario Antonio Mireles Ruiz, 27, of Annapolis; and Christian Marlon Segovia, 25, of Severn.
Jackson said the three other people who were shot are expected to survive. Police, he said, are continuing to investigate and have obtained search and seizure warrants for several houses in the area.
“Annapolis still remains a safe city. I want to highlight that point,” Jackson said. “I can’t underscore that enough. This was an isolated incident that was contained immediately.”
According to court documents, one of the victims, Mireles Ruiz, went over to 1010 Paddington Place to talk with Shirley Smith about parking. There was a large party at Mireles Ruiz’s house that night, police reported, and many cars were parked on the street.
That’s when Charles Smith confronted Mireles Ruiz and pulled out a gun when the argument became physical, police allege. During a “tussle” over the weapon, police assert, Charles Smith shot Mireles Ruiz and Segovia.
Then, Charles Smith stood over Mireles Ruiz and shot him “several more times,” police allege. Charles Smith then went into his home, took out a rifle and fired out of a front window at people who heard the shots and were trying to help, police said. Those shots killed Mireles Ruiz’s father, Nicholas Mireles, and wounded three others, police said.
One victim had an apparent gunshot wound to the ankle, one had an apparent gunshot wound to the arm, and one was apparently shot in the leg and back, according to police.
In an interview with investigators, Charles Smith told police he had fired at the victims because they had shot at his house, police reported. But police stated that no witnesses they interviewed saw any of the victims with a gun. Shirley Smith ran into the house when she heard gunshots, and said she did not see anyone with a gun.
When police arrived at the scene around 8 p.m., Charles Smith was at the front door of his house with his hands up and surrendered, police said.
Court records show the Smiths and Mireles Ruiz had trouble in the past.
In 2016, Shirley Smith filed for a peace order against him, writing in court records that he backed out of his driveway while she was driving on their street and caused her to break suddenly to avoid hitting his car. The next month, she wrote, he stepped into the street and hit her car with a wet towel or blanket. Years earlier, she reported Mireles Ruiz for throwing rocks at street signs and hitting neighbors’ cars and his family threatened to sue her, she wrote in her petition for a peace order.
Police reported that they recovered two weapons: a semi-automatic handgun and a long gun.
The FBI is helping process the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service are also involved in the case.
Half of the block remained closed on Monday morning.
Carmen Johnson, who lived nearby on Kensington Way for seven years, said she loves the neighborhood because nothing ever happens. She said she was surprised to hear about the mass shooting.
Johnson expressed relief that police had taken someone into custody.
“The fact that this wasn’t random — at least from my understanding — also makes me feel a little bit more comfortable,” she said.
During the briefing, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley initially described the event as a block party, but later noted that there were signs congratulating graduates of Annapolis High School along the street.
Buckley said the victims will remember this celebration, what should’ve been a proud moment, as a “horrific one.”
“So now, instead of remembering a kid’s graduation, they’re going to remember this horrific thing when they’re suppose to feel safe,” Buckley said.
Gov. Wes Moore thanked first responders and told local leaders they had his full support. He committed to ensuring that authorities have the resources to “investigate this heinous act and support the people of Annapolis.”
Moore added that he was committed to “tackle the issue of violence in our communities, head on, unapologetically and unafraid, because this moment demands that we be fearless,” he said.
Moore also took a moment to speak in Spanish. All of the deceased victims were Latino.
“To the Latino community, our hearts are broken with yours, and we’ll work together to bring justice and peace,” he said.
Around five years ago, a mass shooting in Annapolis killed five employees of the Capital Gazette.
Charles Smith is being held without bond at the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Anne Arundel County. He’s expected to appear on Tuesday in the District Court of Maryland for a bail review hearing, according to online court records.