Gwinnett teen accused of killing a delivery man to be charged as adult

After earlier arresting two suspects but only naming one in the shooting death of a Papa John’s pizza delivery man, Gwinnett County Police identified Reginald Lofton, 14, as the younger suspect believed to be involved in the shooting.

Reginald will be charged as an adult.

He and 21-year-old Jermaine Young, both of Lawrenceville, face charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery in the shooting death of 28-year-old Shane Varnadore, Gwinnett police Cpl. Deon Washington said.

Young is set to go before a judge Friday, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Detectives conducted hours of interviews overnight, and leads in the case Wednesday led to a search warrant where the shooting is believed to have happened at 1400 Herrington Road.

The SWAT team assisted and several persons of interest were detained in the apartment, including Young and the teen, Washington said.

“This is a tragic situation for the family of the decedent and the family of the suspects involved,” Washington said.

Police called to Herrington Road just before midnight Tuesday arrived to find Varnadore, of Buford, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Police believe the motive was robbery, Washington said.

Varnadore’s mother, Teresa Varnadore, told Channel 2 Action News she saw her son on Sunday and never imagined that would be the last time.

“He was just out there trying to make a living. It just doesn’t make any sense,” Teresa Varnadore said, adding that her son wouldn’t have fought robbers to keep money. “I know my son. He would have given it to them willingly.”

She said her son, energetic, athletic and creative, had worked for Papa Johns for seven years.

“He had a lot of friends. He was friendly, outgoing and kind,” she said.

His death left the mother in shock and at a lost for how she would tell her granddaughter what happened, according to Channel 2.

“He was like her favorite person. She loved her uncle Shane,” Teresa Varnadore said. “I don’t know how we are going to explain this to her. She doesn’t understand. I don’t understand how this could happen. It just doesn’t seem real.”

A Papa John’s spokesman earlier said the company worked with police in their efforts to make an arrest.

In a statement, Papa John’s spokesman Peter Collins said: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the tragic loss of our team member and friend. Our thoughts go out to his family members, teammates and friends during this difficult time.”

Young has been booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center, and Reginald is being housed at a metro Regional Youth Detention Center.

Teresa Varnadore said she plans to attend Young’s hearing Friday.

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