An elderly Georgia man has been charged with shooting dead a Cuban immigrant who mistakenly turned into his driveway on Saturday night.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreports that 69-year-old Phillip Walker Sailors has been arrested and charged with murder after allegedly shooting Rodrigo Abad Diaz, a 22-year-old Cuban immigrant, in the driveway of his Lilburn home.
Passengers in Diaz's car told police they were on their way to pick up a friend to go ice skating around 10:00 p.m. on Saturday when their GPS navigation system directed them to the wrong address. As they briefly stopped in Sailors' driveway, the Vietnam veteran and former missionary came out of his house with a .22 revolver and allegedly fired two shots. One was a warning, the other struck Diaz in the side of his head. Diaz died the following morning at a local hospital; the three passengers in his car were uninjured.
Angie Rebolledo, Diaz's 17-year-old girlfriend, says that as she tended to the stricken victim Sailors offered no assistance and showed no remorse. Sailors also allegedly held the three passengers, all students at Parkview High School, at gunpoint until police arrived.
"I want him to spend all his life in prison," Rebolledo told the Journal-Constitution. "He is a crazy man."
Sailors' lawyer claims that the man was so terrified by the presence of the strange car in his driveway that he feared for his life. "This incident happened late in the evening hours when he was home with his wife and he assumed it was a home invasion and he maintains his innocence," attorney Mike Puglise told WSBTV.
Puglise claims Sailors only shot at Diaz after he accelerated toward him, but the police report contradicts that claim, noting that the car was actually leaving when the fatal shot was fired.
Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley refuted claims that the area where Sailors lives is gang-ridden.
"There is a sampling of crime in their neighborhood, but no more than anywhere else," Hedley told the Journal-Constitution.