Chad Copley (seen in red jumpsuit) has been indicted on murder charges in the shooting death of Kouren-Rodney Thomas (right) as he left a party at the neighbor’s house on August 7, 2016
Chad Copley 39, North Carolina watchman indicted for killing black youth in unprovoked shooting from his garage
20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Thomas was leaving a party and walking with a friend to a parked car when he was shot by copley, a neighbor of the host
In 911 audio, Copley is heard telling dispatcher there are “black males outside my freakin’ house with firearms”, cops say no other weapons were found
Copley has been charged with first-degree murder, faces the death penalty if convicted
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Evidence obtained from 911 audio identifies 39-year-old Copley complaining to the operators that there were “hoodlums” in his neighborhood, authorities say, berfore he fired a shotgun from inside his garage.
Thomas’ mother says he was struck while walking with a friend to their car.
Copley, who is white, told a dispatcher he “fired a warning shot” to people “showing a firearm.” But the party’s host says he didn’t see anyone with a gun.
Justin Bamberg, attorney for the Thomas family called the shooter “George Zimmerman 2.0.”
Bamberg said there were parallels between the Raleigh shooting and the 2012 Florida shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
“Mr. Copley never left his house, never left his position of safety, never was in reasonable danger,” Bamberg said. “He shot through a closed garage door into a street full of young, innocent people.”
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Justin Bamberg, attorney for the Thomas family – Copley is “George Zimmerman 2.0.”
Chad Copley lied about seeing hoodlums with guns near of his house before targeting the victim from inside his garage
Meanwhile, the victim’s family say they hope the indictment sends the message that “this kind of malicious behavior cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”
His mother Simone Butler-Thomas, moved her three sons from Harlem in 2001 in search of a safer neighborhood, told reporters she believes race was definitely a factor in the shooting.
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“He wasn’t dressed when he left the house with sagging pants, or a doo rag, or anything people would call ‘hoodlum,'” she said. “There was nothing hood about him.
“Would this happen if there were Caucasian boys skateboarding up and down the street at 1 o’clock in the morning?” Butler Thomas said.
“Would they be called hoodlums? I just want justice for my son. That’s it. ”
“He was a good kid, and I don’t have him no more,” she said, “And there’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing I can do. I have to bury my child, and I haven’t even seen him yet.'”
Simone Butler-Thomas started a GoFundMe page seeking donations to help cover the funeral expenses for her son.