A daycare owner from Baltimore is facing charges after she shot her husband in a D.C. hotel room on Thursday evening, alleging he molested several children at her business.
According to DC Superior Court documents, Shanteari Weems, 50, reportedly shot her husband and then barricaded herself in a room at the Mandarin Oriental, igniting a police standoff that started around 7:40 p.m. and ended just after 8:30 p.m.
While Baltimore County police are currently investigating Weems’ claims, Twitter users are asking for Weems to be released from custody. Since the arrest of the daycare owner, ‘FREE HER’ immediately trended on Twitter. The ‘FREE HER’ movement currently has over 22,000 tweets, with users praising Weems as a vigilante.
DC Police officers responded to the incident at the luxury hotel after reports of a man being shot on the 8th floor. The hotel informed officers that they had responded to a fire alarm going off in the room and when they went to check, found blood on the wall.
When the officers arrived at the hotel room, they communicated to Weems through the door, who threatened to shoot herself if they entered. “He’s a child molester,” Weems yelled through the door. The man, whose identity is still not known, was able to inform officers through the door that he had been shot in the leg. Officers were able to enter the room at 8:11 p.m. to treat the wounded man and detain Weems. D.C. Police said that they confiscated two guns from the woman.
While she was detained, Weems told police the man she shot was her husband of five years, whom she shared a residence with in Baltimore. She alleged that numerous children at her daycare business, Lil Kidz Kastle, recently said her husband had been molesting them. Weems also alleges she had reported her husband to Baltimore police. She says after confronting him, an argument ensued and she drew the gun when he walked towards her. Police also found a letter in the room where she had written that she hoped to bring justice to the children by paralyzing her husband.
Baltimore County police released a statement, “Due to the sensitive circumstances leading up to this incident, the Baltimore County Police Department continues to support the families impacted. As this investigation moves forward, the daycare facility remains closed.”
Weems’ husband was staying at the luxury hotel for an event. He has been identified as a former Baltimore City Police officer who retired in 2005 and worked as a contract specialist until 2008.
Weems is being held without bond and is due in court on Monday.