Crime

Boy Posed With Gun On Facebook Before Alleged Murder

| by Sheena Vasani
Reginald LoftonReginald Lofton

Police accuse a 14-year-old Georgia boy of murdering a pizza delivery driver March 22 after posing with a gun on social media.

The teenager, Reginald Lofton, was to be charged on March 25 as an adult for the deadly shooting of Papa John’s employee 28-year-old Shane Varnadore, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Varnadore was found dead in a street in Gwinnett, Georgia.

Lofton reportedly robbed and killed the man, along with 21-year-old Jermaine Young. Both now face charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery.

Each suspect accuses the other of pulling the trigger.

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“There were several times during the interview with facts changed, the story changed,” Gwinnett Police Detective Matthew Kenck said in court.

Investigators say the two posted photos on Facebook holding a gun with the same serial numbers as the one used in the shooting. Ballistic tests are pending.

Officials said they conducted a search of the apartment where Lofton and Young lived. The search led police to believe the young men hid the gun inside pancake mix boxes, while pizza boxes delivered the night before were found behind washers and dryers.

Lofton’s family expressed sympathy to Varnadore’s family in court.

“It’s hard. It’s stressful for both families, especially for a 14-year-old boy,” said Lofton’s sister, Porsha Porter.

Varnadore’s employer, family, friends and acquaintances mourned his loss.

“We are extremely saddened to hear of the tragic loss of our team member and friend. Our thoughts go out to his family members, teammates and friends during this difficult time,” Papa John’s spokesman Peter Collins said.

“He was just out there trying to make a living. It just doesn’t make any sense,” his mother Teresa Varnadore said. “He had a lot of friends. He was friendly, outgoing and kind.” 

His mother says she has no idea how to explain to Varnadore’s niece what happened.

“He was like her favorite person. She loved her uncle Shane,” Teresa said. “I don’t know how we are going to explain this to her. She doesn’t understand. I don’t understand how this could happen. It just doesn’t seem real.”

Sources: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2) / Photo credit: Channel 2 Action News via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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