A member of a ‘neighbourhood watch’ team in North Carolina has been charged with first degree murder after he shot – and fatally wounded – a 20-year-old man.
Chad Cameron Copley, 39, called 911 to report ‘hoodlums’ outside his house. The Raleigh Police Department have since released the audio recording that came in shortly before 1am on Sunday 7 August. In the recording, the suspect told the dispatcher that he was ‘locked and loaded’ and ready to ‘secure’ his neighbourhood.
The 39-year-old then suggested the dispatcher called the police and suggested that the people outside his property had guns.
“We have a lot of people outside of our house yelling and shouting profanity. I yelled at them ‘please leave the premises’. They were showing firearms so I fired a warning shot”, he said. “And, uh, we got somebody that got hit”.
Copley insisted he was “trying to protect myself and my family” before adding: “There are black males outside my freaking house with firearms”. Copley fired the fatal shot from inside his garage, Police reports say.
The 20-year-old victim, Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, was rushed to hospital, but was shortly pronounced dead.
In another of the 911 calls released by police, an unidentified man can be heard saying, “They shot him from the house. Didn’t do a damn thing to nobody”.
If convicted, Copley could face the death penalty.