Homeowner shoots and kills 3 masked men in possible 'stand your ground' case

WSB-TV WSB-TV

A homeowner in Georgia shot and killed three young masked men at his home early Monday morning, according to Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett.

Authorities identified the three deceased individuals as juveniles Monday evening -- two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old -- but have not released their names. The sheriff’s office told ABC News it waited to release information about the teens, all from Conyers, Georgia, until all three families were notified.

The homeowner, who has also not been identified by deputies, was taken to the station for questioning.

"It could be a 'stand your ground' type case, based on the preliminary [information] that we have learned so far," Levett said during the briefing.

The three teens allegedly approached the home and attempted to rob three people in the front yard, the sheriff's office said Monday night. One of the attempted robbery suspects purportedly brandished a handgun and fired shots at the residents before one returned fire. All three attempted robbery suspects were killed during the exchange, authorities said.

The victims of the attempted robbery were all uninjured. No charges have been filed against anyone in the case.

Deputies found two guns at the scene, but have yet to determine to whom the weapons belonged, Levett said.

The men were found outside the home when deputies arrived. One man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the two others were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead.

A neighbor told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB that he heard gunfire around 4 a.m. Monday and ran outside to see what happened.

"It was five shots, and then it sounded like a handgun. Then I heard somebody have an assault rifle. And it was a slew of shots that came out," neighbor Carlos Watson told the station.

Rockdale County Sheriff's vehicles are pictured outside the scene where a homeowner shot and killed three men who were wearing masks early Monday morning on Sept. 16, 2019, in Rockdale County, Ga.more +

The legal phrase "stand your ground" became a national story in 2012 when George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin following an altercation in their Florida neighborhood.

Zimmerman was charged with murder, but said he had no choice but to shoot Martin because he feared for his life. In July 2013, a Florida jury acquitted Zimmerman.

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