ONLY ON 3: AR-15 used in LaFayette home invasion - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: AR-15 used in LaFayette home invasion

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LAFAYETTE, GA (WRCB) - Four people have been arrested in connection with a home invasion in LaFayette. But two of the men in custody were victims.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson tells Channel 3 the violent break-in at the home on Dripping Springs Road happened over drugs. He spoke exclusively to Channel 3 over some of the odd details in the case.

Fingerprint dust is still visible on the front door of this home on Dripping Springs Road. It's what's left after a violent home-invasion early Sunday morning.

“The 911 operator could hear the shots being fired as the deputies were being dispatched to the address,” Wilson said.

Wilson says two men and a woman were inside when they awoke to someone kicking in the front door and firing shots. The two men were able to get out. The woman hid in a bathroom.

Investigators found nine shell casings from a semi-automatic AR-15, a weapon Wilson says isn't typically seen in this type of crime.

“It's a weapon that's going to shoot fast and rapid and it can do a lot of damage,” he said.

The military-style assault weapon is legal and can be used for self-defense, but is typically used for recreation.

Wilson says the .223 caliber bullet is on the larger side of ammunition and isn't something he typically sees used in an armed robbery.

“A .223 caliber is a larger caliber ammunition bullet with more firepower, it can do more damage,” he added.

Deputies later tracked down Justin Gilbreath, 24, and Hunter Pettigrew, 20, in the woods nearby using night vision and charged the pair in the crime.

Wilson says the AR-15 was registered to Gilbreath and purchased legally.

Police also arrested two of the three victims, James O'Quinn, 27, and Chad Hurt, 22, for drug related charges.

“We believe the motive here was robbery, to take money or drugs or both,” Wilson said.

No one was hurt in the gunfire.
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