Parents of children told Shanteari Weems that her husband was molesting their children and she immediately alerted the cops.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 29, 2022. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of child sexual abuse that some readers may find distressing.
A 50-year-old woman has been arrested for shooting her husband after he was accused of molesting at least three children who attended the daycare she owned, in an incident in Maryland.
Shanteari Weems, who also operates the daycare, shot and injured her husband, a retired Baltimore police officer, after the parents complained that their children had been molested, reported PEOPLE. Police have alleged that Shanteari confronted James Weems, Jr., 57, in their room at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, before shooting him on July 21.
James Weems, Jr, who retired as a cop in 2005, suffered life-threatening injuries and was rushed to the hospital where he is receiving treatment, stated the DC Metropolitan police. The shooting is believed to have happened after 8 pm. Shanteari was arrested shortly after, stated the D.C. Metropolitan Police.
Kids initially told Shanteari about the abuse and this was followed by multiple text messages from parents and teachers regarding the allegations. According to court documents, Shanteari ran Lil' Kidz Kastle Daycare Center in Owings Mills. James had been working as a bus operator at the daycare for the last two years.
Shanteari decided to talk to James about the allegations inside their room at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. As per the court documents, Shanteari confronted her husband in the hotel room and claims her husband approached her in a menacing manner, reported WMAR2.
Shanteari allegedly grabbed a gun from her purse and shot her husband. Cops allege that she had planned to shoot him after recovering two guns and a notebook containing her plan to shoot him, from the hotel room. Shanteari had reported her husband to the Baltimore County Police about the allegations before confronting him about it.
New: court documents from last night’s shooting at Mandarin Oriental in SW DC say woman arrested for shooting her husband owns daycare in Baltimore. She told detectives she’d recently been informed children at facility claimed shooting victim molested them @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/FnlyOqDJXo— Jackie Bensen (@jackiebensen) July 22, 2022
"At approximately 7:40 pm, members of the First District responded to the listed location for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, members located an adult male, inside of a hotel room, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds," read the report by the DC Metropolitan police about the incident which took place on Thursday.
According to The Washington Post, the affidavit mentions that when the officers asked her to “verify if there was a person shot inside,” she said, “He’s a child molester.” It also mentions that Shanteari responded, "‘Shut the f--- up, I will kill you,’” when James yelled saying that he had been shot in the head and leg.
"The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. The suspect was arrested by responding officers. The detectives’ investigation revealed that this offense was domestic in nature," the report mentioned.
The authorities also issued an arrest warrant for James, said Baltimore County Police, citing the allegations that "James sexually abused at least three children while working at a daycare facility located in Owings Mills." He faces multiple charges. Shanteari was charged with a single count of assault with the intent to kill. She hasn't entered a plea and is set to appear before the court on Friday. She is being held without bond. Baltimore County detectives also confirmed that they had been alerted of the abuse earlier this month, following which they had opened an investigation into the matter.
James is currently recovering from his injuries but will be extradited to Baltimore County for his arraignment once he is discharged from the hospital. "Baltimore County detectives continue to work closely with detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department as well as members of the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the Maryland Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services," read the statement. It is unclear if either of them has retained attorneys to represent them.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Joos Mind
If you know of any children who are being subjected to abuse, please contact The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 422-4453