Man Arrested in Connection With Bullets Fired at Outside of Gaithersburg Church

Police investigated two separate incidents of bullets hitting New Life church


Peter Kevin Banfield


A man has been arrested and charged with shooting the walls of a Gaithersburg church, where bullets were found from two separate incidents last month.

A parishioner at the New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church called police Nov. 15 after noticing a bullet hole near the front entrance after a service. A day later, police came back to the church after gunshots broke out nearby and more bullet fragments were recovered from the structure.

Police investigated the two incidents as connected, but did not have much other information. They, they received a tip that led them to identify Peter Kevin Banfield, a 35-year-old of Southern Night Lane in Gaithersburg, as a possible suspect.

After looking into Banfield, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for his residence, where they found a handgun and ammunition in his bedroom, according to a police press release. A forensic analysis on shell casings found near the church suggested the handgun was the same weapon used at that shooting, police say.

Banfield was arrested Tuesday.

He faces charges of reckless endangerment, malicious destruction of property worth more than $1,000, defacement of religious property and discharging a firearm in an urban area, according to court records.

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