Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alabama: Teen burglary suspect killed

Decatur, Alabama

From the Decatur Daily of September 9, 2009
Teen burglary suspect killed

On Tuesday morning, 14-year-old Ta’veon Tashawn Mason should have been at his desk at Austin High School, but he and two friends skipped school.

Police said the ninth-grader died in a Southwest Decatur backyard from a single gunshot wound. A press release said a resident shot him inside the house during a burglary at about 10:30 a.m.

Noel Mclean at 1432 Fifth Ave. S.W. said he shot Mason. He said he was awakened by the intruders and he shot out of fear.

Lt. Jonathan Green, public information officer, said Mason was one of three teen boys suspected in the break-in.

Police said the trio broke a window at the back of the house and entered.

“The homeowner was asleep inside and was awakened by the intruders,” said Sgt. Rick Archer, supervisor of the Violent Crimes Unit. “He retrieved a handgun and confronted them.”

Archer said the man fired one shot, striking Mason, and the two other teens fled the house. Outside the home, a white sheet covered Mason’s body as it lay in the grass near the window where police said the break-in occurred.

Officer David Shutt caught a 16-year-old male soon after the shooting, and detectives found the third teen, 14, at his home later Tuesday afternoon, Archer said. The 14 and 16-year-olds are Austin High School students, but the 16-year-old is in the alternative school program, sources told The Daily.

Police charged both teens with second-degree burglary, booked them into Decatur City Jail and later transferred them to the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Tuscumbia. They will soon face a detention hearing, Archer said.

The Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville will perform an autopsy on Mason’s body, police said. Sharpley Funeral Home in Decatur will handle arrangements.

Detectives questioned the homeowner about the shooting, but Archer said police did not file any charges in connection with Mason’s death.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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