By WECT Staff | May 1, 2020 at 3:33 PM EDT – Updated May 1 at 3:47 PM
COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A Columbus County homeowner will not face charges after he shot and killed an intruder in self-defense last month, the District Attorney’s Office has ruled.
According to prosecutors, the owner arrived at his home on Miller Road outside of Tabor City around 2 p.m. on April 21 and noticed that his security camera system had recorded an event.
When the homeowner checked out the video, he saw two men enter his home through a back window. The homeowner drove around and parked, and saw a window air conditioning unit had been removed. As he looked through the opening, he saw the two men in his home.
The homeowner pulled out his legally owned and registered firearm and ordered the two men to raise their hands. He told authorities that the men moved toward him in an “aggressive manner” and he discharged his gun through the window opening, killing one of the men — Cameron Green.
The other suspect, Keandre Graddy, fled from the home as the owner fired three additional shots. Graddy, who was not injured, was later arrested by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.
The homeowner called 911 to report the incident and waited for deputies to arrive.
He told investigators there had been numerous break-ins at this home last year, where at least 13 guns had been stolen. He told law enforcement that he was concerned it could have been the same individuals and that they could have been armed with his guns. He added that he couldn’t see their hands during the incident.
Investigators found Green’s body in an area of the house where they homeowner keeps large amounts of firearms and ammunition. All of the homeowner’s guns were locked in a safe and secure during the break-in.
“[The homeowner’s] statements to investigators were substantially corroborated using surveillance footage from businesses, security footage from [his] home, mapping applications, and witness statements,” prosecutors stated in a news release.
After reviewing all the available evidence, prosecutors say the homeowner will not be charged and was justified in the shooting under the “defense of habitation” doctrine, because he “is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm to himself.”
Prosecutors added that Graddy was interviewed and will not face charges related to Green’s death. However, Graddy will face charges of felony breaking and entering.
“Although allowed by some states, North Carolina law does not permit a surviving co-defendant to be charged for the death of another co-defendant if he or she is killed during the commission of a felony by a third party,” the release stated.
“Despite the face that Mr. Green was violating the law at the time of his death, it is certainly a tragic outcome that he was shot and killed,” said District Attorney Jon David. “The District Attorney’s Office and the sheriff’s office would strongly encourage our citizens to call law enforcement for assistance when possible rather than resort to self-help. Yet, in analyzing the situation before us, we are left to determine whether a crime has occurred, not whether the preferred procedure was utilized. In this case, the law protects [the homeowner’s] decision to use deadly force on his property when he felt threatened by the crime which was occurring in his presence.”
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