During the early morning hours on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook, an Air Force veteran with advanced Alzheimer's, was shot and killed in Georgia after reportedly ringing a homeowner’s doorbell and trying to turn the handle on the door.
The homeowner, 34-year-old Joe Hendrix, reportedly confronted Westbrook on the property and when Westbrook, who is practically mute from the Alzheimer's, didn’t respond to Hendrix’s commands, the homeowner fired four shots, one of which hit Westbrook in the chest and killed him.
RT reports that authorities say the state's "stand your ground" law may apply in the shooting death. Georgia's 2006 law states that a person "has no duty to retreat" and has the right to "stand his or her ground," including the use of deadly force pertaining to self-defense of one's home or property.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said it's up to the district attorney's office to determine whether the state’s "stand your ground" law will apply in the case.
Wilson feels Hendrix shouldn't have come outside, but didn't break any laws by doing so.
"In my personal opinion, I believe that he should have stayed inside the house," Wilson said, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "Did he violate any laws by exiting the house? No."
As of yet, the state has not filed charges against Hendrix and the investigation is ongoing.