A father fatally shot a teenage boy who had snuck into his home to visit his daughter because he thought he was a burglar.
Derrick Fulton blasted Jordan Middleton in the chest when he ran out of a closet in the spare room at his Georgia home, said Columbia County sheriff Steve Morris.
It later emerged Mr Fulton’s daughter had let the 17-year-old into the house.
Mr Fulton told investigators he was awoken shortly before 3am when he heard noises downstairs, Mr Morris said.
Mr Fulton claimed he twice warned Jordan he was armed and twice told him to identify himself, he said, adding that the father attempted CPR after the shooting.
“It was just devastating to know that I can never see his face again," Jordan’s best friend, Trelen Murphy, told US News channel, WRDW12.
Mr Murphy, who organised a vigil and made T-shirts in his friend's honour, added: “I just want everyone to remember Jordan as this loving, caring, like this happy, fun spirit. I want them to remember Jordan as he was, just, special.”
The headmaster at Grovetown High School which Jordan attended said: "Jordan was the type of kid that got along with everyone."
Craig Baker added: He could give a joke and take one just as well. His humour and his charm will be missed."
Mr Fulton has not been charged in connection with the weekend killing.
The Independent contacted police for an update, but none was forthcoming at the time of publication.
Georgia is one of two dozen US states that have the so-called Stand Your Ground laws.
It means anyone in the state can claim they can justifiably use deadly force in their property if they fear serious injury to themselves or someone else in the home.
The same defence was infamously used by George Zimmerman who killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
In the first two months of 2017, 2,452 people died, and 591 children were injured, in gun related incidents in the US, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which monitors incidents in the country.Reuse content