Man Pleads Guilty to Fatally Shooting Ex-Girlfriend Outside Target

A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting his ex-girlfriend outside a Target store in Germantown, Maryland, after he'd convinced her to meet him there.

Prosecutors say Donald Wayne Bricker Jr. shot 24-year-old Marie Shade Adebayo June 1 in the parking lot of the Target store at 20908 N. Frederick Road.

Bricker pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Adebayo, a graduate of the University of Maryland, had dated Bricker for about six months, her family said. The couple had broken up, but she agreed to meet him in the Target parking lot to talk.

"'Come to closure,' that's what he said to her. So being the good person that she is, she agreed to it," said her mother, Cassandra Atkens. 

Court documents say Bricker had been harassing Adebayo. When he found out she was talking to someone else, prosecutors say, he bought a gun and convinced her to meet him at the Target.

Witnesses outside the store heard Bricker and Adebayo arguing in a car. Prosecutors say Bricker shot Adebayo when she got out of his truck, and that he then stood over her and fired the handgun at her again at close range.

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Atkens is grieving the death of her daughter. 

"The last six months have been really excruciating," she said Tuesday.

Atkens never met Bricker and said her daughter didn't know he had been convicted of rape in 2008 and was a registered sex offender.

As a convicted sex offender, he shouldn't have had a gun, prosecutors said.

They said Bricker illegally ordered a replica antique firearm by mail and received it June 1. That night, Adebayo was killed.

"There are some gaps in our law, and he went and found one of those gaps, found a gun that he could buy..." said State's Attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy.

After the shooting, Bricker fled the Target parking lot in a white Ford Ranger with police in pursuit. He was arrested nearly 10 miles away after crashing his truck in Darnestown, Maryland.

A gun was recovered at the scene of the crash, police said.

"In my opinion, they should put him away that he would never come out to hurt a soul," said Atkens in June. "He just doesn't need to be in society anymore." 

McCarthy said Adebayo's death should encourage anyone in a violent relationship to seek help, because it is available.

"We can provide you with information, safety plans and tactics for making yourself safer," he said.

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