Pedro Argote, father accused of shooting judge dead in his driveway with his wife and son inside, once HAILED gun shop in eerie Facebook post from 2021

The man suspected of shooting a Maryland judge dead in his driveway posted an eerie Facebook review praising a gun shop for ‘fun and dynamic’ training and making him ‘confident’ with a firearm. 

Pedro Argote, 49, is being sought in an urgent multi-agency manhunt following the fatal shooting of judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, in Hagerstown, Maryland on Thursday night.

The father-of-four had lost custody of his children and was banned from seeing them or his wife in a hearing presided by Wilkinson on the day of the shooting. 

Investigators said on Friday that he had purchased the firearm used in the shooting legally. 

In a Facebook post two years ago, Argote hailed a Maryland gun shop for leaving him feeling at ease at the trigger. 

‘(The store) have the knowledge and extensive experience needed with firearms to make anyone feel safe and at ease the very first time around, even better, you’ll leave feeling confident,’ he wrote in a post from August 2021. 

‘Trainings are fun and very dynamic. Down to earth, straight-forward customer service throughout the entire class, purchase and fingerprinting experience.’ 

Pedro Argote, 49, was named by the Washington County Sheriff's Office as the suspect in the grisly shooting

Pedro Argote, 49, was named by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as the suspect in the grisly shooting

The alleged killer praised a gun shop for helping him feel 'confident' with a gun through 'fun and dynamic' firearm training

The alleged killer praised a gun shop for helping him feel ‘confident’ with a gun through ‘fun and dynamic’ firearm training

The father had custody of his four children taken away on the same day that the judge presiding over his case was shot dead

The father had custody of his four children taken away on the same day that the judge presiding over his case was shot dead 

Maryland judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, (pictured with his wife Stephanie at his swearing in in 2020) was shot dead outside his home in Maryland on Thursday evening

Maryland judge Andrew Wilkinson, 52, (pictured with his wife Stephanie at his swearing in in 2020) was shot dead outside his home in Maryland on Thursday evening 

The gun store, United Gun Shop in Maryland, told DailyMail.com that they met Argote several years ago, where they found him to be ‘respectful.’ 

‘We are beyond shocked today as everyone else is. From everything we knew, this is way out of character for Mr Argote,’ the store said in a statement. 

‘Considering the nature of the active investigation, we feel it’s most appropriate to respect the families and law enforcement as they actively work through the investigation and give additional thoughts at a later time. 

‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the Judge. When the investigation confirms details we will gladly give additional comments and thoughts. Until speculations are confirmed we feel it’s inappropriate to give any other specific details or comments.’ 

As of Friday afternoon, Argote remained at large as the suspect in what police described as a ‘targeted attack.’ 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office warned the public not to approach him and to contact if they have any information as to his whereabouts.

He is described as 5’7, 130lbs with black hair and brown eyes, and may be driving a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450, displaying Maryland registration plates 4EH0408.

At a press conference Friday, Sheriff Albert said that Wilkinson’s wife and son were both inside their home in Hagerstown at the time of the shooting.

The judge was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds, but later succumbed to his injuries.

Albert said cops had responded to Argote’s residence twice within the last two years for ‘verbal domestic assaults’, but did not hold any prior criminal record in Washington County. 

Wilkinson has served as an associate circuit court judge in Washington County since 2020, and was praised as a family man with passionate about his work as a Little League baseball and youth soccer coach

Wilkinson has served as an associate circuit court judge in Washington County since 2020, and was praised as a family man with passionate about his work as a Little League baseball and youth soccer coach

Hours before the shooting unfolded, Argote was also ordered to pay pay child support of $1,120 per month for the four children he shares with his wife, all of whom he was also banned from seeing

Hours before the shooting unfolded, Argote was also ordered to pay pay child support of $1,120 per month for the four children he shares with his wife, all of whom he was also banned from seeing

In his judgement on Thursday, Wilkinson ruled that Argote’s wife will have ‘sole use and possession of the family home’, and that he was not to enter the property. 

Argote was also ordered to pay child support of $1,120 per month for their four children.

Born in Guam in 1971, Wilkinson previously served as an assistant county attorney in Washington County from 2006 to 2012, and served as an associate circuit court judge in Washington County since 2020.

He also served as a member of the State Board of Law Examiners’ Character Committee from 2006 to 2019.

His profile on the court’s website highlighted his work as a Little League baseball and youth soccer coach, while being active in his local church.

‘We are a courthouse of six judges,’ Administrative Judge Brett R. Wilson, a colleague, told the New York Times. ‘We all know each other very well.’

Maryland State Troopers were dispatched to the homes of other judges in the area and remained until Friday morning, which Albert said was taken ‘as a precaution’ and there is no known threat to Maryland judicial officials.

Cops released this image of a vehicle Argote may have been driving, described as a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450, displaying Maryland registration plates 4EH0408

Cops released this image of a vehicle Argote may have been driving, described as a silver 2009 Mercedes GL450, displaying Maryland registration plates 4EH0408

Wilkinson was gunned down on the driveway outside his home in Hagerstown, Washington at around 8pm, hours after ruling in a divorce case involving his alleged killer

Wilkinson was gunned down on the driveway outside his home in Hagerstown, Washington at around 8pm, hours after ruling in a divorce case involving his alleged killer 

In a statement after the shooting, Maryland Judiciary said Wilkinson’s death was a ‘tragic loss.’

‘As we grieve his loss, we ask that you keep the Wilkinson family in your prayers and please respect their privacy,’ the statement read.

‘The Maryland Judiciary is actively engaging with law enforcement to assist in resolving this matter and to ensure the safety of our judges, staff, and visitors, which remains our top priority.’

Tributes have poured in for the judge following his passing, with US Senator Ben Cardin offering ‘condolences to Judge Wilkinson’s family, friends and all those touched by his public service.

‘No one should have to endure the anguish of having a loved one ripped away in such a manner,’ Cardin continued in a statement.

‘There is no excuse for this kind of violence, especially against an officer of the court. The rule of law is what makes our society work. It may not be perfect, but individuals like Judge Wilkinson worked to make it better and more just every day.

‘His passion clearly was for serving his local community and for this, Judge Wilkinson will be sorely missed.’

Maryland Congressman David Trone said he was ‘shocked and heartbroken’ by the killing, adding: ‘This violence is horrifying to see in our community. Our thoughts are with his family during this unimaginable tragedy and with law enforcement investigating this crime.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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