Deontae Yarnell told Louisville police that he returned to his home to find two men had broken in, so he fired several shots and then chased one man, firing more rounds at him.
Now Yarnell is the one under arrest for murder after the suspect died of his gunshot wounds.
The shooting took place shortly after midnight on Saturday. Yarnell said he found the men breaking into his home on Halsey Court, and instead of calling the police decided to open fire on the men with an unspecified firearm. Yarnell reportedly gave chase as the men fled the home, and then shot one of the suspects again as the man tried to climb a fence.
“When officers arrived, they found the body of a black male outside the residence had been shot, he received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene,” said Dwight Mitchell of the Louisville Police Department.
That suspect may have laid wounded for several hours before dying, witnesses say.
“I kept hearing people crying and I kept hearing the cops and the noise,” said one unnamed neighbor, who told WAVE that she heard the noises through the night. “You can’t help but think here is a poor man that is laying deceased on my yard.”
Police have not released full details of the incident, and it is not clear exactly when the burglary suspect was found dead.
It’s also unclear what kind of defense Deontae Yarnell might use. While Kentucky has a “Stand Your Ground” law that allows people to use deadly force if they are in fear of their life, Yarnell did not appear to be threatened by the suspect.
“It is not one where a person is authorized to chase after an intruder and then run him down and shoot him,” Attorney Thomas Clay told WAVE. “I think it would be very questionable if that defense would be available under the circumstance of this case.”
Some who know Deontae Yarnell say they are shocked at the charges and believe he was only acting in defense of himself and his property.
“He had walked in and found them in his home. I guess that’s why he shot them. He was protecting his house. And I mean bow wow is a pretty good guy,” friend Elizabeth Dillon, who went to high school with Yarnell, told WLKY.
Deontae Yarnell is facing a murder charge for the alleged shooting.
[Image via WAVE screenshot]