A father shot and killed a teenage boy as he was running out from a bedroom closet after his daughter sneaked him into their family home in the middle of the night, police said.
Dereck Fulton shot and killed Jordan Middleton, 17, after claiming he thought the teenager was a home intruder on Saturday in Grovetown, Georgia.
Fulton’s daughter, 14, had sneaked Middleton into the house in the middle of the night, at 2.47am, and brought him into the home’s guest bedroom, where the two were staying.
Fulton shot the young man once in the chest as he was running from the bedroom’s closet after the father heard noises coming from the room, according to Columbia County police reports.
Fulton told police he heard sounds coming from downstairs and that his dog was barking uncontrollably. Thinking an intruder was in the house, he grabbed his gun and went downstairs.
The family pet was barking at the guest bedroom door and Fulton yelled out twice in warning that he was armed and if someone was in the house, they needed to identify themselves.
When no response was made, he entered the bedroom and that’s when Middleton ran out from the bedroom’s closet.
Fulton fired his gun as Middleton was trying to run out of the room, hitting him once in the chest and medics later pronounced him dead on the home’s foyer floor.
It was only after Fulton shot Middleton that he learned his daughter had brought him into the home close to 3am, and Fulton then began to perform CPR on the teenager, reported WRDW.
Middleton attended Grovetown High School and his former basketball coach said he was ‘just a great kid. Very likable, always had a smile on his face.’
Police report that no charges have been filed but the investigation is ongoing.
Under Georgia gun laws, homeowners are allowed to use deadly force if a person is in the act of breaking or has broken into a home in a violent manner and the homeowner believes the intruder poses a danger to the household.
A homeowner is also allowed to use deadly force if a person who is not a member of the household has entered the residence unlawfully and forcibly.