Georgia homeowner shoots, kills 3 masked teens, deputies say

Three teens in masks were shot and killed by a homeowner Monday morning in Rockdale County, Georgia, authorities said.

Investigators determined that the juveniles, one age 15 and two age 16, were involved in an exchange of gunfire with the White Oak Court homeowner shortly after 4 a.m., the Rockdale County Sheriff’s office spokesman, Deputy Lee Thomas said, in a statement emailed Monday afternoon.

All three juveniles were from Conyers, Thomas said. WSB-TV said two of them were brothers.

Deputies were called to the single-story home to investigate a report of shots fired. They found three “young men” lying on the ground outside, Sheriff Eric Levett said at the scene.

"Upon our arrival, the deceased was at the edge of a driveway and partially in the roadway," he said. "The other young man was a little bit down the street, where it appears he was running."

Deputies administered first aid to him and another teen. Both later died after being taken to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The juveniles allegedly approached the residence and attempted to rob three people in the front yard, Thomas said. One of the attempted robbery suspects brandished a gun and fired at the residents before the homeowner returned fire, according to the statement.

The robbery victims were not injured in the shooting. No charges have been filed.

“They did discover masks on the young men,” the sheriff said. “That rose our suspicions.”

Levett said the homeowner, who has not been identified, is in his late 40s to early 50s. WSB-TV reported he is a truck driver.

Carlos Watson, who lives next door, said more than 10 emergency vehicles responded quickly to his otherwise quiet cul-de-sac after the shooting.

He said he thought he was dreaming when he first heard a series of about five gunshots. The second round got him out of bed.

"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."

Brian Jenkins, a candidate for Rockdale County Commission chair, said he waited until deputies arrived before he went to check on the teen lying in his yard, screaming for help. The teen appeared to have been shot near his shoulder and was wearing a mask around his neck, Jenkins said.

“I told him to just calm down and relax,” he said. “It will be OK. Just stop moving.”

Watson has lived in the neighborhood off Flat Shoals Road for about a year and said random crimes are not common.

Investigators are still trying to determine who owned two different types of guns recovered from the scene.

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