Radee Labeeb Prince, the man responsible for shooting five co-workers and killing three of them, had a long criminal history that should have placed him behind bars for decades.
Early Wednesday morning, news broke that a gunman had opened fire at an Edgewood-area business park. Police have identified their suspect as 37-year-old Radee Labeeb Prince. After the shooting, Prince fled and is currently on the run. He was seen leaving the scene driving a black 2008 GMC Acadia with a Delaware license plate.
The attack took place at Advanced Granite Solutions, a company that specializes in installing granite countertops, at their office and showroom just off of Exit 77 on I-95. A total of five people were shot, three of whom unfortunately succumbed to their injuries. All of the victims were identified as Advanced Granite Solutions employees though, out of respect for their families and next of kin. Police have not released their personal identities.
Prince had worked for Advanced Granite Solutions for around four months as a machinery operator and investigators believe that this attack deliberately targeted the business and its employees. However, a specific motive has not yet been released.
The Shooter's Long Criminal History
What is important, however, is that Radee Labeeb Prince had an extensive criminal history that not only made it illegal for him to own or carry a firearm, but should have placed him behind bars. Yet, as happens far too often, leniency in sentencing and prosecutorial discretion allowed this criminal back into society multiple times.
In December of 2003, Radee Labeeb Prince pled guilty to 15 counts of third-degree burglary, receiving a 25-year prison sentence. He should have been behind bars for years, if not at least two decades. However, all but two of those years were suspended and Prince was instead ordered to pay $34,500 in restitution.
Again in 2015, Prince was arrested following what began as a routine traffic stop. Police pulled Prince over in Cecil County for a broken headlight on his car. When the officer approached the vehicle to explain why he made the stop, Radee Labeeb Prince started getting loud and aggressive. Officers later discovered a handgun under his seat. Being a convicted felon, Prince was not legally allowed to own or carry a handgun. He was charged with multiple gun crimes, including illegal possession of a firearm and illegally carrying and transporting a firearm. Those two charges alone would carry a combined maximum sentence of 13-years behind bars. However, these two charges ended up being dropped by Cecil County Prosecutors. The reason for their reluctance to take these charges to trial is not yet known.
Court records also show that in August of 2016, Prince was arrested by the Maryland State Police in Cecil County on numerous traffic charges, the most significant being negligent driving, driving without a license, failure to stop for police, and attempting to elude police. Those crimes, together, carried maximum penalties that would have put Prince behind bars for multiple years. However, these charges were also dropped.
Then, again, in February of 2017, a co-worker at previous job took out a peace order against Prince. This "restraining order" came after Prince allegedly punched a co-worker on company property and then threatened others in the company. Even with his prior felony conviction and previous gun charges, there was apparently not enough evidence to justify a peace order and the request was rejected.
Let Off the Hook
These four instances in the timeline show a clear history of crimes that were legitimately punishable with significant prison time.
If the third-degree burglary convictions, illegal firearm charges, even the traffic charges were fully prosecuted, Radee Labeeb Prince could have spent Wednesday morning behind bars. However, in each case, the judge and/or prosecutors showed him leniency, allowing him back into society.
Prince should have been in jail. When he was found to be in illegal possession of a handgun after his felony conviction, he should have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But he wasn't.
On Wednesday, the organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which advocates stricter gun laws, was just one of many likeminded organizations that posted articles about the Edgewood shooting. Commenters on these posts called for increased gun control and blamed the National Rifle Association for enabling Radee Labeeb Prince to go on his rampage.
In the wake of these sorts of tragedies, it is always easy to focus on the weapon itself -- a handgun -- or on laws designed to restrict access to firearms. However, this mass shooting was made possible not by lax firearm laws, but by the revolving door of Maryland's justice system. Over the past decade and a half, prosecutors and judges in Maryland had no less than four opportunities to hold Radee Labeeb Prince accountable for his crimes and in each case, he was instead shown leniency.
Given the fact that Prince is now sought in connection with shootings in both Maryland and Delaware, the investigation now crosses state lines, giving the FBI jurisdiction in the case. If you know anything about Radee Labeeb Prince that could help lead to his arrest, you are encouraged to contact investigators toll-free at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
EDIT: Police and FBI both report that Radee L. Prince has been apprehended and taken into custody.