39-year-old Chad Copley was charged in the death of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas and held without bail at the Wake County Detention Center. Police said Copley used a shotgun but authorities aren’t revealing the type of shotgun or the ammunition used.
The white North Carolina homeowner who shot an unarmed black partygoer to death was not part of any local patrol group, neighbors said. Copley called 911 early Sunday morning and told cops he was “locked and loaded” before firing “a warning shot” from his garage that struck and killed Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who had gone to a party several doors away.
“I’m on neighborhood watch,” Copley told a dispatcher during the call. “I’m going to have the neighbors with me. There’s hoodlums out here racing up and down the street. It’s 1:00 in the morning, um, there’s some vandalism. They have firearms, and we’re going to secure our neighborhood.”
While this case hasn’t sparked the national attention of others, it bears a resemblance to the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, was found not guilty for the murder which divided the country.