Raleigh man accused of killing partygoer outside home indicted on murder charges

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Monday, August 22, 2016
Chad Cameron Copley, 39
Chad Cameron Copley, 39
wtvd-image courtesy Raleigh/Wake CCBI

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Chad Copley was indicted Monday by a Wake County Grand Jury on murder charges after police said he fatally shot a young man outside his home.

Copley, 39, is accused of killing 20-year-old Kouren Thomas on August 7. Authorities said Copley fired a shotgun from inside the garage of his house on Singleleaf Lane in Raleigh and hit Thomas. Thomas was taken to WakeMed where he died.

In a statement, Thomas' family said "They hope that today's indictment sends a clear message that this kind of malicious behavior cannot, and will not, be tolerated. We will now watch closely as this case moves through the justice system."

Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas

Copley called 911 to report "hoodlums" on his street and says he fired a warning shot. In the 911 call, he told the dispatcher, "We have a lot of people outside of our house yelling and shouting profanities. I yelled at them, 'please leave the premises.' They were showing a firearm, so I fired a warning shot and we got somebody that got hit."

READ MORE: Man accused of murder says he was protecting his home

A neighbor who lives two doors down from Copley said he had hosted a party that night with about 50 guests. He told ABC11 he didn't see anyone carrying guns or causing problems outside on the street.

"The man's body was right in front of the mailbox," the neighbor said, pointing toward Copley's mailbox. "I don't know how he was a threat from the garage."

Some residents in the neighborhood where the shooting happened told ABC11 that they believe the shooting was a form of discrimination.

Friends and family gathered at Imago Dei Church on Old Wake Forest Road on Saturday to remember Thomas by wearing pink, his favorite color, and sharing memories of him.

READ MORE: Victim's lawyer calls suspected 'Zimmerman 2.0'

The suspect in this case is the son-in-law of reporter Greg Barnes. This was a shock to him and all of us at ABC11. We'll continue to give updates as we get them

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