Shawndel Arnez Weems, 24, of Columbia was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Richard Montgomery High School student Simeon Mukuna, 18.
A Howard County jury also found Weems guilty of using a handgun in the commission of a crime in the violent fatal shooting that was committed “over nothing,” according to Rich Gibson from the State’s Attorneys Office for Howard County.
“This loss of life was senseless and utter unnecessary. We have an 18-year-old young man who had a bright future ahead of him and it was cut short over nothing,” Gibson said. “Weems’ actions are inexcusable. There is a family in immeasurable pain due to his choice to engage in violence.”
According to the state’s attorney’s office, Weems told investigators he thought Mukuna had a handgun. He said he did not know the teenager and had never seen him before.
Howard County Police on Feb. 6, 2021 went to the 7500 block of Monarch Mills Way in Columbia following the report of a shooting. When they arrived, they saw Mukuna on the ground suffering from shotgun wounds. He died at the scene, according to the state’s attorneys office.
Witnesses told police that Mukuna was helping a friend with vehicle maintenance work when he walked to his own vehicle to get a jacket. As he walked back across the parking lot, a vehicle pulled up alongside him and Weems, who was the driver, began shooting, according to the state’s attorneys office.
Mukuma was shot multiple times.
Weems then parked his vehicle and walked into a nearby apartment where he lived. Police used a search warrant to check out his apartment and found a 9 mm handgun and one magazine with live rounds in it. They also found Weems’ Handgun Qualification License.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 30. He faces up to 60 years in jail.
— Howard County State's Attorney's Office (@HowardCoSAO) May 19, 2022