News of the deaths of three masked teenagers who were attempting to rob three people in Conyers, Georgia has gone viral. Now, neighbors of the Georgia homeowner who fired the fatal shots says he is devastated by their deaths.
Chico Chapman, a neighbor of the truck driver who lived at the home with his mother, says he worked long hours and was “rarely at home.” Chapman also described him as a “good neighbor” who was a “friendly guy who always waves.”
The Washington Post reports another neighbor, Brian Jenkins, says his friend was “crushed” over the Monday shooting. As of Wednesday, the White Oak Court homeowner, whose name has not been released, has not been charged with any crime, but was taken into custody for questioning.
The Rockdale County Sheriff states three teens, Isaiah Reid, 16, Jaime Hernandez, 15, and Brandon Gresham, 16, were killed "during an exchange of gunfire” during the attempted robbery. One teen died at the scene, and the other two died from their injuries at the hospital.
According to the Daily Mail, Reid and Hernandez had on masks when one of them opened fire first at the homeowner around 4 a.m. The homeowner fired shots in return. Neither the resident, or the other two people on the scene, were injured.
“It was five shots and then it sounded like a handgun. Then I heard somebody have an assault rifle. And it was a slew of shots that came out,” described eyewitness Carlos Watson.
Jenkins said his neighbor was simply acting “on instinct.”
Eric Levett, the Rockdale County Sheriff, revealed that the shooting could be a “stand your ground” case, the controversial self-defense law that allows those in fear for their lives to use deadly force, without requiring them to retreat from any confrontation.
Georgia, along with Florida, Michigan, Alabama and 21 other states allow defenders to defend themselves with lethal force, even when they could avoid the threatening situation.
Photo: Erin Clark for The Boston Globe via Getty Images