A Georgia homeowner shot and killed three teens as they approached his residence with their faces covered, authorities said.
The masked teens — a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds — approached three residents around 4 a.m. Monday at the front yard of a home just outside Conyers and tried to rob them, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office said.
One of the would-be robbers took out a gun and fired shots at them before one of the residents returned fire, authorities said.
“The victims of the attempted robbery were all uninjured, but the three attempted robbery suspects were all shot during the exchange of gunfire and succumbed to their injuries, one on scene and two at a local hospital after being transported,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release.
“I heard a guy yelling for help. ‘Help me, help me, I’m dying, I’m dying, help me, help me,” Brian Jenkins told the station.
Another neighbor ran out to help after he heard what sounded like five shots from a handgun, he said.
The teens’ names weren’t immediately released. They were from the area but did not live in the neighborhood they were in, the sheriff’s office said.
An investigation is underway, and this could be a “stand-your-groundtype of case,” Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said Monday, referring to one component of Georgia’s self-defense laws.
Georgia’s self-defense laws say thatsomeone generally can use deadly force ifhe or she reasonably believes it is necessary to “prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” There are exceptions, including that the defender cannot have provoked the attack.
Georgia law also says anyone lawfully using force in self-defense does not have to retreat first, but rather has “theright to stand his or her groundand use force.”