Three masked men were shot and killed by a Rockdale County owner Monday morning, authorities said.
Investigators have not determined whether the deadly shooting at a White Oak residence outside the Conyers was the result of a home invasion, Rockdale Sheriff Eric Levette told AJC.com
"This is in the very early preliminary stages of our investigation." , he said.
Deputies were called to a one-story house shortly after 4 a.m. to investigate a report of shots fired. They found three "young people" down on the ground, Levett said.
"On our arrival, the deceased was on the edge of the alley and partly on the road," he said. "The other young man was just down the street where he appeared to be running away."
His deputies also provide first aid to another man. They both died after being taken to hospital, according to the sheriff's office.
The three do not live in their home and their identity is unknown, Levett said. For this reason, investigators were unable to determine whether there was a criminal history.
"They discovered the masks of the youth," the sheriff said. "It raised our suspicions, so now we are out of the community talking to witnesses, of course, by participating with the homeowner and, of course, trying to identify young men and inform their families."
Sheriff's deputies work to collect evidence Monday morning and the coroner is called to the home. Neighborhood resident Carlos Watson said more than 10 emergency vehicles responded quickly to his otherwise quiet transition after the shooting.
He thought he was dreaming when he first heard a series of about five rifles. The second round got him out of bed.
"I heard someone yelling for help … then I heard it again and that's when I went out," Watson said. "There was a gentleman, and our neighbor … was helping him."
Watson has lived in the Full Sholes neighborhood for about a year, and said that accidental crimes are not common.
"There has to be someone who is familiar with anywhere, especially with a doll," he said. "You're not just coming in at the end of this quarter. Unfortunately, they met their deaths, trying to get into a person's property. ”
Investigators are still trying to determine who owns two different types of rifles recovered from the scene. According to the homeowner, who was in his late 40s to early 50s, he was out when the shooting happened.
"The homeowner was not injured," he said. "I think there were three homeowners who witnessed the incident and, of course, were distracted."
The man was taken to Rockdale's Criminal Investigation Unit to be questioned.
We have an Atlanta Constitution photographer on stage working to learn more.
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