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Homeowner shoots and kills 3 masked men in possible 'stand your ground' case

September 16, 2019 - 2:34 pm

iStock(ATLANTA) -- A homeowner in Georgia shot and killed three young masked men at his home early Monday morning, according to Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett.

Authorities have yet to identify the three deceased men, Levett said during a media briefing. The sheriff’s office told ABC News it is waiting to release the names of the men until all three families are notified.

The homeowner, who has also not been identified by deputies, was taken to the station for questioning.

"It could be a 'stand your ground' type case, based on the preliminary [information] that we have learned so far," Levett said during the briefing.

Deputies found two guns at the scene but have yet to determine who the weapons belonged to, Levett said.

The men were found outside the home when deputies arrived. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and the two other victims were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead.

A neighbor told ABC affiliate WSB Atlanta that he heard gunfire around 4 a.m. Monday and ran outside to see what happened.

"It was five shots, and then it sounded like a handgun. Then I heard somebody have an assault rifle. And it was a slew of shots that came out," neighbor Carlos Watson said, according to the station.

Deputies are expected to make a public update on the shooting "this evening."

The legal phrase "stand your ground" became a national story in 2012 when George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin following an altercation in their Florida neighborhood.

Zimmerman was charged with murder but used the "stand your ground" defense to say he had no choice but to shoot Martin because he feared for his life. In July 2013, a Florida jury acquitted Zimmerman.

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