Despite his claim of self-defense, a man has been charged with murder in the weekend shooting death of a teenager, officials said.
Jalen Breon Brown and RayQuann Deonte Jernigan got in a fight Sunday morning in the parking lot of the Riverview Apartments in Athens, Athens-Clarke police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez said. It’s not clear why they were fighting.
At some point, Brown, 21, pulled out a gun and shot Jernigan in the chest, Rodriguez said.
Brown said he was defending himself, according to police, who identified the victim and the suspect as men.
Jernigan, a 17-year-old transgender woman who was known to friends and family as Ava Le’Ray Barrin, was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.
According to an online obituary, Barrin “made the decision to reveal to her closest loved ones; friends, and those around her that RayQuann was actually Ava Le’Ray Barrin. A brave young woman who feared nothing; nobody, and especially not being herself.”
The two knew each other, but no motives have been established.
“It was just an argument that escalated,” Rodriguez said.
Brown is in the Athens-Clarke County jail on murder and aggravated assault charges with no bond, according to jail records.
Family and friends held a vigil for Barrin on Monday.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.