Gunfire that left three masked teenagers dead in Conyers, Georgia, is being investigated as a possible “stand your ground” case, according to local authorities.
Rockdale County deputies responded to reports of shots fired at a home in the Atlanta suburb shortly after 4 a.m. Monday, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies arrived, they discovered “three males with gunshot wounds and began administering first aid,” the Sheriff’s Office said. Two were hospitalized and died, while the third was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting. Those killed were a pair of brothers, 15 and 16, and another 15-year-old, WSB-TV reported.
“At this time, it is known that all three males that were shot do not live at the residence and arrived at the residence with their faces covered,” deputies said.
Deputies said that “the investigation is still in the preliminary stages and the homeowner is currently being questioned as to the details of the shooting.”
Investigators said “it could possibly be a stand your ground type of case,” according to WSB-TV.
“It was five shots and then it sounded like a handgun,” neighbor Carlos Watson told WSB-TV. “Then I heard somebody have an assault rifle, and it was a slew of shots that came out.”
Neighbors described the homeowner as “a truck driver who owns a semi-automatic rifle,” according to WSB-TV.
Watson said it seemed to be a “home invasion gone bad for the invaders,” according to 11Alive, which reports that the incident could be a “stand your ground” case.
Neighbor Brian Jenkins described the homeowner as “protective of his mother” in an interview with 11Alive.
Jenkins told the TV station that after hearing the gunfire he called 911 and noticed “a guy yelling for help, ‘help me, help me, I’m dying. I’m dying. Help me. Help.’”
Jenkins said he went out to help and found one victim shot near his shoulder, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
“I told him to just calm down and relax,” Jenkins said, according to the Journal Constitution. “It will be OK, just stop moving.”
Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said two guns were found at the shooting scene, but it’s not yet clear who they belong to, ABC reports.
Deputies did not identify the teenagers killed in the shooting pending notification of their families, according to ABC. The homeowner was not identified either.