RALEIGH, N.C. (CNN) – A North Carolina man said he was “on the neighborhood watch” when he fatally shot a 20-year-old from inside his garage before telling a 911 dispatcher he was protecting his family from “hoodlums,” according to Raleigh police.
Chad Copley, 39, was charged with the death of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who police said was outside Copley’s home when he was shot just before 1 a.m. Sunday.
Copley is being held without bond at Wake County Detention Center, police said.
Thomas is African-American. Copley is white.
Police said Copley used a shotgun, but they haven’t disclosed the type of shotgun or the ammo used.
The News & Observer in Raleigh reported Monday that there was glass in Copley’s yard and driveway from the blast traveling through one of the home’s windows. There were also blood stains and bloody gauze a few feet from the street, the newspaper reported.
Wearing a red prison jumpsuit, Copley entered a courtroom Monday and winked at his family in the gallery. A judge assigned the Capital Defenders Office to defend Copley.
The office told CNN that Raymond Tarlton would represent Copley. Tarlton’s office issued a brief statement saying it was in the preliminary stages of its investigation and cautioning against a rush to judgment.
“We have seen too many wrongful convictions for anyone or any organization to jump to conclusions on the basis of someone being charged,” the statement said.