Three teenage boys in masks were shot and killed by a Rockdale County homeowner during an attempted robbery Monday morning, authorities said.
Investigators determined the boys, ages 15, 16 and 16, were involved in an exchange of gunfire with the White Oak Court homeowner, Rockdale sheriff’s office spokesman Deputy Lee Thomas said in an emailed statement Monday afternoon.
All three were from Conyers, Thomas said. While they have not been identified by authorities, two are brothers, according to Channel 2 Action News.
Deputies were called to the single-story home to investigate a report of shots fired shortly after 4 a.m. They found three “young men” down 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.
“They did discover masks on the young men,” Levett said. “That rose our suspicions.”
The boys allegedly approached the residence and attempted to rob three people in the front yard, according to the sheriff’s spokesman. One of the attempted robbery suspects brandished a gun and fired at the residents before the homeowner returned fire, he said.
Levett said the homeowner, who has not been identified, is in his late 40s to early 50s. According to authorities, the man lived at the home with two others, but it is unclear if the other residents were the victims in the attempted robbery. None of the victims in the attempted robbery were injured.
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 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 man lying in his yard, screaming for help. He appeared to be shot near his shoulder and was wearing a mask around his neck, he 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.
Authorities are still trying to determine who owned two different types of guns recovered from the scene.
“Investigators have been actively interviewing the three individuals from the residence and other neighbors with information throughout the day,” Thomas said. “No charges have been filed against anyone at this time.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office at 770-278-800 and ask to speak with Investigator Dwayne Smith or Sgt. Jeremy Best.
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