A Dekalb County, Georgia homeowner lives out of town and requested that one of his relatives check on his house. When this relative Terrance Medina went to check on the house, he brought his gun just in case. At some point while he was checking out the place, he encountered someone there who didn’t belong there. Medina ended up shooting and killing the man. At this point in the investigation, we don’t know what exactly happened inside the house to prompt Medina to shoot the intruder. Perhaps there was a fight that ensued.
Police and the media are referring to this intruder as a “squatter.” And neighbors claimed not to have been surprised that there was a squatter inside this house. Apparently, in this part of town, it’s not uncommon. So, if it’s not common for people to break in other people’s houses in a certain area, you call such a person a home intruder, and shooting a home intruder would be deemed self-defense. If the breaking and entering happens a lot in a certain area, you call them squatters, and shooting and killing a squatter is murder.
The man accused of shooting and killing a squatter Monday morning at his relative’s DeKalb County home has been charged with murder, officials said.
DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish said Monday afternoon that Terrance Medina, 39, had been charged in connection with the shooting and was already in the DeKalb County jail. The victim had not yet been identified, she said.
DeKalb County police are handling the investigation, but Atlanta police Officer Kim Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution early Monday the incident happened about 8 a.m. in the 1700 block of South Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Channel 2 Actions News reported that the home’s owner, who lives out of town, sent a relative to the house to check on the property. That relative, now identified as Medina, encountered the trespasser and shot and killed him, according to the station.
Neighbors told Channel 2 the vacant house had been a target for squatters in the past.
I think we need more details to make a determination as to whether Medina should be charged with murder. If there was a fight, and Medina genuinely felt his life was threatened, shooting the intruder would be self-defense.