( 4UMF NEWS ) Man Charged With Fatal Shooting After Making “Hoodlum” Complaint:
A white neighborhood watchman who said he was securing his neighborhood from “hoodlums” was charged with murder after he shot and killed a black man near his North Carolina home, authorities said Monday.
In a case eerily similar to the Trayvon Martin shooting, cops said Chad Copley 39, shot a 20-year-old man with a shotgun from inside his garage after calling 911 and telling a Raleigh police dispatcher he was “locked and loaded” and preparing to go outside.
“We’ve got a bunch of hoodlums out here racing,” Copley said. “I am locked and loaded. I’m going outside to secure my neighborhood.”
Moments later, a shot rang out, and Kouren-Rodney Thomas, a black man, was wounded. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Shortly after the shooting, a woman called 911 from inside Copley’s house, and put Copley back on the phone.
“We have a lot of people outside our house, yelling and shouting profanities,” he said. “I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises.’ They were showing a firearm, so I fired a warning shot and, uh, we got somebody that got hit.”
“Someone was shot?” the operator asked.
“Well, I don’t know if they were shot or not, ma’am,” he told her. “I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”
The operator asked who had come to his house.
“Ma’am, I don’t know who they are,” the man said. “There’s frigging black males outside my frigging house with firearms. Please send PD.”
Friends said Thomas had come to the neighborhood shortly after midnight to attend a party two doors from Copley’s house.
Jordan Lewis, 16, who lives at the home where the party was held, told the Raleigh News & Observer there were about 50 people there, with about half the people inside and half hanging around outside in the front yard.
David Walker, who came to the party with Thomas, said that when they arrived, the street was quiet.
“It was silent,” Walker said. “No fighting and no arguing and no one waving guns.”
A relative who answered the phone Monday said the victim’s family was not doing well.
“We’re broken apart torn apart, not doing well,” he said. “Trying to get our lives back on track the way it was, but it’s hard. We lost somebody very special to us.”
Copley was charged with first-degree murder and held without bail. Copley could face the death penalty if he is convicted of the charge.
The Raleigh incident was reminiscent of the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, who was gunned down in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman after a 911 call to cops.
Instead of standing down as instructed, Zimmerman confronted the 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 and shot the unarmed teen after an altercation in the gated community where Martin was visiting his father.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder, and was found not guilty.
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