CONYERS, Ga. – A Georgia homeowner fatally shot three teenagers who were reportedly trying to rob him and two others on Monday night, officials said.
The gunmen turned out to be teenagers — ages 15, 16 and 16. They approached the residence in Conyers, a city roughly 25 miles southeast of Atlanta, with their faces covered in masks, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.
The trio “attempted to rob three individuals in the front yard” of the home, and one of the teenagers “brandished a gun and fired shots” at those in the front yard.
One of the intended victims of the attempted robbery returned fire, shooting all three teenagers, Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. One of the teenagers died at the scene, while the two others died at a nearby hospital.
Sheriff Eric Levett said deputies responded to the scene after a report of shots fired. When they arrived, the dead teenager was bordering the street and the driveway, and one of the other wounded suspects “was a little bit down the street, where it appears he was running.”
“If society wants to analyze this shooting, it should figure out how and why these teenagers became armed robbers.”
– Jim McNeff, retired police lieutenant, managing editor LawOfficer.com
Investigators said the three people who were on the Conyers property and neighbors have been interviewed. On face value, the circumstances sound like self-defense was prudent and reasonable on the part of the Georgia homeowner. The ages of the decedents is newsworthy, but to the victim facing armed robbery suspects wearing masks, “age is not a factor,” according to Jim McNeff, retired police lieutenant and managing editor at LawOfficer.com.
“While the death of the suspects is sad, we should find peace in the fact that victims were not physically harmed, but do not overlook the emotional devastation the homeowner will likely carry,” McNeff said. “Moreover, if society wants to analyze this shooting, it should figure out how and why these teenagers became armed robbers.”
Levett confirmed two weapons were found at the scene and told reporters it’s possible this could be a “stand-your-ground” type of case, based upon preliminary information.
Witness Carlos Watson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he woke up to the “sounds of gunfire.”
“I heard somebody yell for help … then I heard it again, and that’s when I came outside,” Watson said. “There was one gentleman laid out and our neighbor Mr. Jenkins was helping him out.”
He said the situation seems to have been “a home invasion that went bad for the invaders,” and said the community is a “nice area” that doesn’t see random crime often.
The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation.
(Feature image: Tony Webster)