An elderly Gwinnett County man is accused of shooting and killing a 22-year-old man who friends said pulled into the wrong driveway.
Mr. Phillip Walker Sailors, 69, of Lilburn, was booked into the Gwinnett County jail Sunday afternoon and charged with murder, according to Lilburn police.
He is accused of shooting Mr. Rodrigo Abad Diaz, of Duluth, about 10 p.m. Saturday, police said.
The 22-year-old was transported to the Gwinnett Medical Center where he died of a gunshot wound to the head at 6:08 a.m. Sunday, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Investigators declined to release any details on the circumstance of the shooting, but friends said Mr. Diaz was shot as he tried to drive away from Mr. Sailors’ home on Hillcrest Road in Lilburn.
Friends of Mr. Diaz told Channel 2 Action News that he and others were trying to find a friend’s house when their GPS led them to the home on Hillcrest Road, off Indian Trail Road.
After seeing the car in his driveway, Mr. Sailors who had come out of his home, went back inside and returned a short time later with a gun that he fired into the air, Yeson Jimenez, 15, told the news station.
Jimenez said he and his brother were in the car with Mr. Diaz and a female when Mr. Diaz tried to drive away, but Mr. Sailors fired again, this time striking the man in the head.
An attorney for Mr. Sailors told Channel 2 the elderly man fired the shot because he feared for his life.
“He is very distraught over the loss of life from the defense of his home,” Mr. Michael Puglise said. “This incident happened late in the evening hours when he was home with his wife and he assumed it was a home invasion and he maintains his innocence.”
Mr. Sailors, who reportedly has no known criminal history, was being held without bond Tuesday at the jail.
“It was an unfortunate and tragic event,” Lilburn police's Capt. Michael Johnson said.
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