The alleged mastermind of a mass shooting is, for reasons unrelated to the carnage, being sued by a car insurance company. The State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company wants $40,000 from Orlando Carter.

Prosecutors believe that Carter, allegedly a small-time drug dealer who operated in the Washington Highlands area, and three of his buddies attacked a throng of mourners on March 30, 2010. The mourners were gathered in front of 4022 South Capitol Street SE after a funeral. Donning ninja masks, the men cut the crowd down with gunfire, court documents say.

They’re accused of killing four and wounding six that night. Authorities believe Carter organized the ambush in retaliation for an attempt on his life made about a week earlier. It’s still not clear whether anyone in the crowd knew anything about the attempt. After allegedly mowing their victims down, Carter and his cohorts are said to have rolled away in a rented minivan. They were spotted by police. Carter, who was driving, took off, bringing on a high speed chase.

According to lawyer Thomas Mauro, that wasn’t the first time Carter tried to outrun the law in a vehicle. In an earlier and separate incident, he says, Carter accelerated onto the 2200 block of Southern Avenue SE as he tried to flee police on Nov. 19, 2007. Court records say that as Carter hurtled away from his pursuers, a woman in a Toyota Camry sat waiting for a traffic light to change. Carter’s vehicle lost control and slammed into hers. “Insured suffered significant bodily harm and incurred medical expenses and incurred property damages to her vehicle, thus requiring repair costs,” the complaint by the insurance company says.

The driver was a customer of State Farm Insurance. The company paid her medical and repair bills, which amounted to $40,000, but now wants to recoup the money from Carter. The accident was a result of “defendant’s recklessness and negligence,” say the court filings. Court records don’t show a related criminal case. Mauro’s process server has been looking for Carter on and off since November, but hasn’t been able to locate him.

That’s undoubtedly because he hasn’t been looking at the D.C. jail, where Carter has been held without bail since April. Mauro says up until now, he had no idea the guy he was trying to take to court had been accused of concocting the March bloodbath. Carter’s lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery