Man on "neighborhood watch" fatally shoots man, charged with murder

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2016

Police say Copley stood behind his garage door and fired a single shotgun blast out a window that killed 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who was out near the street.

Police allege Copley fired a shotgun at Thomas from inside his garage. There is one key difference, though, Bamberg said, claiming there was no confrontation between Thomas and Copley.

He didn't say they threatened him with it or brandished the weapon, and he didn't consider it a deadly force threat. Host Frank Stasio talks with News and Observer reporter Ron Gallagher about the latest. There were also blood stains and bloody gauze a few feet from the street, the newspaper reported.

The office told CNN that Raymond Tarlton would represent Copley.

"We have seen too many wrongful convictions for anyone or any organisation to jump to conclusions on the basis of someone being charged", the statement said. Copley could face the death penalty if he is convicted. "Castle Doctrine has its own issues, and we've seen it, we saw it in Florida with George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, we've seen it all across the country".


Zimmerman called 911 and described Martin's behavior as "suspicious", then disregarded an emergency dispatcher's advice not to follow him.

On Sunday, Copley made a phone call to the Raleigh Police Department to report that people were standing outside of his house.

"She told me that Kouren got shot, and I didn't believe it", Crosby said. "I yelled at them 'please leave the premises.' They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and we got someone that got hit", said one caller, who was later identified as Copley. If I were you I would send PD.

The dispatcher, responding to Copley, asked: "You're going to do what?" PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE 911 CALL:Operator: I'm sorry you're going to do what to the neighborhood? "I am going to have the neighborhood meet these hoodlums out here racing up and down the street". Walker then watched him go, telling the newspaper, "I yelled at him, 'We good now, stop running.' He turned his head back to me, and that's when a shot went off". They have firearms and we're gonna secure our neighborhood.

"There is hoodlums out here racing up and down the street". There's several dozen of them. We didn't make this about race. "Please, send PD. Thank you". It's on Singleleaf, Raleigh, North Carolina.


But witness statements and 911 calls paint a partial picture of the shooting, which featured a frightened man who was ready to fire his gun. In his 911 call, he told the dispatcher he was going to confront "hoodlums" outside his home.

Asked his name, the caller hangs up. The man said he fired a warning shot to scare the people away, but the shot hit someone. "They do have firearms and I am trying to protect myself and family".

Dispatcher: OK. Somebody was shot?

"Well, I don't know if they were shot or not, ma'am", the man replied. "I'm trying to be so strong for my family. There's friggin" black males outside my friggin' house with firearms. Please just send a auto. Again, commotion muddles the audio. "I don't know what to do", Williams said as tears streamed down his cheeks. Warning shots are illegal almost everywhere.

Copley appears to have indicted himself with 911 calls that were essentially a confession. He was later pronounced dead at WakeMed.


"It was silent. No fighting and no arguing and no one waving guns", said David Walker, a friend who came to the party with Thomas. Friends say Thomas was leaving a nearby party and was unarmed.

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