A teenage boy who climbed into a home in Zachary, Louisiana, to visit a girl, shot and killed her father shortly after a confrontation on Sunday morning.
An investigation is underway into what led to an exchange of gunfire between the unnamed 17-year-old suspect and Dezmon Jerome Hamilton, 34, said police.
Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said Mr Hamilton, a well-known local businessman, died in his living room, and the teenager was left injured after shots were fired, reports NBC News.
Mr Hamilton was alerted to the boy in his home by a neighbour who saw him “going into the window”, said Mr McDavid. Mr Hamilton’s daughter is believed to have let him in from a second-storey window after he climbed up using a ladder.
The boy was caught hiding in a closet, and Mr Hamilton took him downstairs to speak to him. About 25 minutes later, the boy and Mr Hamilton shot at each other.
“Based on what we saw, based on the information and evidence, we suspect the juvenile shot first,” Mr McDavid said, noting that Mr Hamilton had weapons at his home.
Police had been unable to speak to the suspect because he had gone into surgery and was unconscious. He was still in hospital as of Thursday afternoon.
Mr McDavid said that upon his release, the teen will be arrested and charged with second-degree murder, illegal use of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm. He is expected to be charged in juvenile court.
Mr Hamilton’s obituary said he was a father-of-four, and was planning to open a business selling crushed ice with syrup, called Sweet Corner.
“It’s a tragic loss,” Mr McDavid said. “We lost a good man who was an up-and-coming entrepreneur who was trying to make this community better.”