• The mother and daughter were pronounced dead at the scene
  • The two were living in the hotel for a while before the incident took place
  • "We believe this was a targeted and deliberate crime," police said

A woman and her daughter were found dead after suffering gunshot wounds inside a hotel room in Maryland.

The grim discovery was made Wednesday after the staff at APM Hotel and Suites in Hagerstown located the duo's bodies in one of the rooms, according to 7News DC. Officers were dispatched at around 4:20 p.m. and they found the two deceased female victims.

Officials confirmed that the victims included a 40-year-old mother named Elise Wars and her 4-year-old daughter, Khori Ashton.

"On arrival officers located two females suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The females were pronounced deceased at the scene," the police department said in a statement on Facebook. "Criminal investigators and the Western Maryland Regional Crime Lab were called to the scene to investigate."

A suspect, believed to be the mother's acquaintance, was arrested Thursday in connection with the incident, the Hagerstown Police Department said. Javon Hines, 22, was arrested in Elkridge in the matter without incident.

He "was an acquaintance of Wars," the police department added. "We believe this was a targeted and deliberate crime."

Police learned that Wars had been staying at the hotel for several months before she and her daughter were found fatally shot.

The motive behind the killings remained unclear as an investigation into the double homicide was underway.

"Our hearts go out to the victims' family and friends," the police said. "A special thanks to our investigators and crime scene unit that worked around the clock to make this arrest happen."

Wars' friend for over three decades Priscilla Dorsey expressed sorrow in the aftermath of the incident. "That was my best friend, that was my sister and family," Dorsey told WUSA9. "It hurts. It really hurts."

"That little girl didn't deserve it," Joseph Maryland, the next-door neighbor, told the outlet. "Neither did her mother, but that girl was innocent."

Another friend of the slain mother, Shannon Monique, said Wars was an only child and had lost both her parents. She also revealed the deceased mother shared an unbreakable bond with her daughter.

"Nothing meant more to her than Khori though," Monique told the outlet. "She re-formatted her entire life around Khori. She had a heart of gold."

Representational image
Representational image (Source: Pixabay / Daniel_Nebreda)