Police: Man on 'Mission from God' Shoots at Another After Argument
Spokesman: Pair argued over spiritual beliefs.
Police have arrested a 57-year-old Lyon Park man accused of shooting at a new acquaintance after the two drank and had an argument over their spiritual beliefs.
Laselle Booker, of Arlington, has been charged with attempted malicious wounding and reckless discharge of a firearm in public, according to police.
Booker first approached the victim, who was not named by police, in the early morning hours Friday at a gas station in Washington, D.C., police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
He told the man he was on a "mission from God" and was trying to help those less fortunate — and then he wrote the man a $500 check, Sternbeck said.
Shortly afterward, the man sees Booker trying to hail a cab. The man offered to give him a ride home because of his earlier generosity, Sternbeck said.
The two eventually arrived at Booker's residence in the 700 block of North Edgewood Street. Booker offered to let the man stay in his guest room.
The men began drinking alcohol and talking, and at some point they got on the topic of belief systems and values, Sternbeck said.
The two followed different faiths, though it's not clear what those are, Sternbeck said.
At that point, Booker said he was no longer comfortable with the man staying at his home. He asked for the check back and told the man he would give him cash instead, Sternbeck said.
Once outside, Booker didn't hand over any cash; rather, he gave the man a $50 check, Sternbeck said.
It was shortly after 4:30 a.m. Both men were still agitated from the previous argument. Booker pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and pulled the trigger several times in the direction of the victim, Sternbeck said.
Nothing happened because he failed to cock the loaded gun, Sternbeck said. Then he cocked the gun and pulled the trigger again. This time, the bullet flew past the victim's head, Sternbeck said.
This scared the man, who got in his vehicle, drove away and called police.
Police arrived shortly afterward and arrested Booker, Sternbeck said.