In a case out of North Carolina which brings strong allusions to the death of Trayvon Martin, a 20-year-old young black man is dead after attempting to attend a party. According to the News & Observer, Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas was shot by Chad Copley, 39, from inside his garage. Thomas later died at the hospital. Copley called 911, told cops he was "locked and loaded" and was headed outside. Photo: WNCN "We’ve got a bunch of hoodlums out here racing. I am locked and loaded. I’m going outside to secure my neighborhood," said Copley. After shots were fired, someone from inside Copley's house called 911 and put him on the phone. Copley told the operator, "I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises.’ They were showing a firearm, so I fired a warning shot and, uh, we got somebody that got hit.” When the operator asks if someone got shot, Copley says, "Well, I don’t know if they were shot or not, ma’am. I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family. Ma’am, I don’t know who they are. There’s frigging black males outside my frigging house with firearms. Please send PD.” Thomas' friends say he and others came to the neighborhood to attend a party. "It was silent. No fighting and no arguing and no one waving guns," said David Walker, who came to the party with Thomas. Photo: Family photo via WNCN A relative told the News & Observer that Thomas' family was not doing well. “We’re broken apart torn apart, not doing well. Trying to get our lives back on track the way it was, but it’s hard. We lost somebody very special to us," they said. His mother described him as a "mama's boy" and "Mr. Safety 101." He had been working at McDonald's and was looking forward to moving his girlfriend into East Carolina University this fall. Photo: Family photo via WNCN Copley is charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail.
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