Her husband is alive and is recovering in the hospital and she is charged with one count of attempt to murder.
Trigger Warning: The following story contains themes of child sexual abuse that might be disturbing for readers.
Authorities say a former Baltimore police officer was shot by his wife in order to obtain justice for the children he is suspected of assaulting at her daycare. James Weems, who resigned from the police force in 2005, had spent the last two years working as a bus operator at the daycare. According to court filings, Shanteari Weems reported the abuse to authorities but continued to get calls from the parents. That's when she confronted her husband about the alleged assault last Thursday, just after the two checked into the luxury Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C, per KALB.
Things rapidly deteriorated and Shanteari Weems, James' wife, alleges that he stood up and approached her in a hostile manner. She then reportedly pulled a gun from her purse and shot James, reports PEOPLE.
BREAKING:— An Open Secret (@AnOpenSecret) July 26, 2022
Arrest Warrant Issued for James Weems, Jr., 57
Retired Baltimore Police Officer Shot by Wife in Washington, DC, Hotel Room
Shanteari Weems, 50, told police she shot her husband, because he was sexually abusing children at a day care she runs in Owings Mills, MD pic.twitter.com/cs2VpyhTp9
According to PEOPLE, two guns were found in the hotel room, as well as a notepad purportedly describing Shanteari's preparations to shoot James. She allegedly informed police that she simply intended to injure James and not kill him. Shanteari has been charged with one count of assault with the intent to murder and has yet to enter a plea. A warrant for James' arrest was issued by Baltimore County Police last Wednesday. The charges were filed, "after allegations surfaced that James sexually abused at least three children while working at a daycare facility located in Owings Mills." According to the statement, Baltimore County police began investigating James earlier this month when they were notified of the abuse.
Despite former officer James Weems being charged for serially abusing children, his wife Shanteari Weems is still charged for “assault with intent to kill” the alleged predator, who she says “moved towards her” during a confrontation before she shot him. https://t.co/bw638NjPog— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 26, 2022
The statement reveals that James is facing various counts. He will be extradited to Baltimore County for his arraignment after he is released from the hospital. It's unknown whether James has hired a counsel to represent him. The statement says, "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."
Kathy Scherr, who works near the daycare, said the situation is terrible yet she sympathized with Shanteari. She said, "I mean everyone knows she shouldn’t have taken the law into her own hands, but you didn’t have your life upended. Her whole entire business is gone. Her reputation is gone. Her marriage is gone. Those kids are hurt. She obviously cared about them. So, who knows if it was one of us what you’d be driven to [do]"
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
Shanteari Weems supporters are using the hashtag #freeshanteari on social media, with some even dubbing her a hero. Supporters also flocked to the courthouse where Shanteari Weems' original hearing was postponed on Monday. She is now scheduled to appear in court on Friday. Activist Qiana Johnson is also standing in support of her and said, "She’s made complaints to the proper authorities before. Her cries for help went unanswered."
"Our government did not keep her or the children in the situation safe."
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Sigel Eschkol / EyeEm