A North Carolina judge held a Raleigh homeowner without bond on Monday for shooting a 20-year-old Black man outside his house, WNCN-TV reports.
The Raleigh Police Department accused Chad Cameron Copley of firing from inside his garage at Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who was standing in the street.
Authorities said the shooting happened about 1 a.m. on Sunday. Thomas was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Copley, 39, told a 911 dispatcher that “hoodlums” were outside his property.
“I am locked and loaded and I am going outside to secure my neighborhood,” he said in the recorded call. “You need to send PD as quickly as possible. I am going to secure my neighborhood. I am on the neighborhood watch.”
Copley, who’s White, also told the dispatcher that “there’s frigging Black males outside my frigging house with firearms. Please send PD,” before hanging up the phone.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Thomas and his friend, David Walker, went to a party two doors away from Copley’s house. Walker said they were among the last to arrive and decided not to stay. He added that things were quiet.
“It was silent. No fighting and no arguing and no one waving guns,” he told the newspaper.
Thomas’ family told WNCN-TV that they’re now raising money for a funeral.
Simone Butler-Thomas, the victim’s mother, spoke about her grief.
“They take my baby…this is the worst. He’s loving and he loves everything and everybody,” the devastated mother said.
Thomas was the youngest of her three sons.
“He was just a good friendly guy that everybody, everybody loved to be around him,” Thomas’ brother Kellen Crosby stated.
Kristian Williams, Thomas’ other brother, said, “I lost somebody that I can’t even put in words how much they’ve taken from us.”
Wake County District Judge Craig Croom told Copley that he faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder, according to The Observer.