Johnl Maynard and Charles Smith first bonded over their shared love of snakes.

Three years ago, Maynard said, he met Smith on a reptile Facebook group and sold him five snakes. The two went on to build a friendship that centered around fishing, catching snakes and exploring the woods of Patapsco Valley State Park.

When Maynard, 21, of Crisfield, heard that Smith stood accused of shooting six people — three of them fatally — on Sunday in Annapolis after a dispute about parking, he said he was shocked. However, he added, Smith had previously spoken about struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the military.

“I don’t know what happened and made him do what he had to do,” Maynard wrote in an Instagram message to The Baltimore Banner, “but he will always be my friend.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Interviews, court records and posts on social media provided more details about Smith, 43, of Annapolis. He faces three counts of second-degree murder and related offenses in the shooting, which happened on Paddington Place between Edgewood Road and Kensington Way.

In the past, loud music and sudden noises triggered Smith, causing him to break down and occasionally throw objects, Maynard said.

One time, Maynard recalled, they were stuck in a traffic jam. The constant honking on the road overwhelmed Smith, who repeatedly punched the steering wheel before calming himself down by listening to music and deeply breathing, Maynard said. They eventually switched places, and Maynard took over driving.

Maynard described Smith as a family man who spent a lot of time with his mother, Shirley, at her home in Annapolis.

The mass shooting is not the only time that Smith has been accused of violence.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

While stationed at Fort Gordon in 2012, he was charged in connection to the stabbing of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, Kevin Harrell, in Columbia County, Georgia, but acquitted at trial, according to court records.

At trial, Smith testified that Harrell’s dog attacked him — biting through his finger almost to the bone — while he was on a walk in his neighborhood, according to a transcript. Smith said he pushed the dog away in self-defense. That’s when he testified that Harrell came up behind him, threw him to the ground and caused him to hit his head.

Smith said he did not remember what happened next.

“I woke up in a cell with no clothes on except for my boxers and I was in a puddle of blood,” Smith testified.

A jury took only 37 minutes to find him not guilty of aggravated assault, his attorney, Maureen Floyd, said in a statement.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

On his Instagram, among photos on his boat and holding snakes, Smith stated that he’s “retired from the Army” and has found “a new life of sailing and adventure.” He went on to further describe himself: “Highly skilled and professionally trained, I’m ready for anything!”

During a bail review hearing on Tuesday in Annapolis, Smith’s attorney, Mark Howes, told the judge that his client is single and does not have a criminal record.

Smith, Howes noted, graduated from South River High School in Edgewater in 1998 and attended college.

He said his client was in the U.S. Army from 2008-2013 and served in Afghanistan. Smith, Howes added, was diagnosed with PTSD and takes five medications.

In an email, Bryce Dubee, an Army spokesperson, said Smith served from 2008-2013 as an imagery analyst and last held the rank of specialist. Smith testified in his assault trial that his position involved using satellite and spectral imagery to identify roadside bombs, improvised explosive devices and enemy compounds.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

But, Dubee said, Smith did not have any deployments.

Howes asked the judge to release Smith on his own recognizance or set a reasonable bail.

Outside the courtroom, Howes said he was not going to discuss the allegations, noting that he just took on the case.

“There’s two sides to every story, and we look forward to our day to present our proofs,” Howes said.

“I think the case is very regrettable for our community,” he later added. “But we’ll have to let the system do its work and see how the process unfolds.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Meanwhile, Anne Arundel County Assistant State’s Attorney Rachel Severance asked the judge to continue to hold him without bond given the severity of the crime.

Severance said Smith “apparently snapped” after hearing a noise at a party but did not elaborate.

The three people who were killed in the shooting are Nicholas Mireles, 55, of Odenton; his son, Mario Mireles, 27, of Annapolis; and Christian Segovia, 24, of Severn.

While arguing over a car blocking a driveway, court records claim that Smith confronted his neighbors with a gun and, when the argument escalated, shot and killed Mireles and Segovia. Smith then retreated into his house, and court records allege that he set up a rifle and began firing out the window at people who rushed into the street to help the victims, shooting four additional people and killing Nicholas Mireles.

Court records revealed that there were longstanding tensions between the neighbors.

In 2016, Shirley Smith filed a petition for a peace order against Mario Mireles, alleging that he made threats and hit her car with a large wet towel or blanket.

Mireles, she claimed, threw rocks at street signs and damaged cars in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Mario Mireles filed a petition for a peace order that same day against Shirley Smith, claiming that she has had problems with him since he was 11.

Mireles asserted that Shirley Smith made racists remarks to him and his neighbors. She once drove fast close to him, he wrote, and yelled, “You dont park cars in the street motherfucker.”

On a different occasion, Mireles alleged that Shirley Smith drove fast toward him “as in targeting me” when he was cleaning his car on the street.

He reported that he moved out of the way and called the police, who told him to file charges with a district court commissioner.

“This has bin my first time ever being shocked thinking my life was going to be on the line in a quik second,” Mireles wrote.

Judges ultimately dismissed both petitions. Shirley Smith could not be reached for comment.

Since 2018, Annapolis Police were called to Mireles’ house for a number of noise-related complaints — a motorcycle revving up and down the street, a woman screaming on the back porch, loud music — most of which were phoned in anonymously. But law enforcement attributed one complaint in 2020 to Charles Smith, according to calls for service.

Charles Smith told police that someone was riding a dirt bike and an ATV up and down the street and would like them to make it stop. Police wrote in the report that, upon arrival, they found a child riding a toy ATV.

District Judge Robert C. Wilcox ordered Charles Smith to continue to be held without bond, remarking that he was facing “multiple counts of extreme violence resulting in fatalities.” He’s set to appear back in court for a preliminary hearing on July 12, according to online court records.

Speaking to reporters outside the District Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County, Kathleen Kirchner, an attorney who’s representing some of the family members, said while a diagnosis of PTSD is significant, they do not believe that “in any way excuses his behavior or the damage that he’s done.”

Mariana Segovia, Christian Segovia’s sister, spoke about her brother and lamented the loss of life.

“What happened here is not an act of PTSD,” she said. “This is a murder.”

This story has updated victims’ names to correct information provided by the family attorney. It has also been updated to correct Christian Segovia’s age.

Reporter Tim Prudente, Susan McCord of The Augusta Press and Rakiyah Lenon of The Bell Ringer contributed reporting to this article.

brenna.smith@thebaltimorebanner.com

dylan.segelbaum@thebaltimorebanner.com

brenda.wintrode@thebaltimorebanner.com