ONTD Political

Georgia man shoots and kills young Latino who accidentally pulled into his driveway

10:06 am - 01/30/2013


Rodrigo Diaz, 22, was driving around with his girlfriend and two friends when he pulled into a driveway, thinking they had arrived at another friend’s house, his brother says. But instead he pulled into the driveway of Phillip Sailors, 69, who thought his home was being robbed, his lawyer says. Sailors then shot Diaz, according to the police report, citing what Sailors told officers at the scene. Diaz later died while in the intensive care unit.

“Basically, what happened is they were looking for one of my brother’s girlfriend’s friends,” says his brother David E. Diaz-Valencia, 23. “The guy came outside and my brother’s girlfriend said he was screaming, ‘Get off my property!’ and he shot into the air. My brother was backing out fast because he was scared and he rolled down the window to say he was sorry and he was not doing anything wrong. Then the guy shot him in his head.”
When officers arrived, Angie Rebolledo, Diaz’s girlfriend, had blood on her jeans, both arms and both hands as she was attempting to get a response from him and screamed frantically that her boyfriend had been shot, according to police.

Police arrested Sailors, of Lilburn, Georgia, who was booked into the Gwinnett County jail Sunday afternoon and charged with murder, according to the police report.

“At this point we have established probable cause to charge Mr. Sailors and when the investigation is complete, we will turn over the case file to the Gwinnett County District Attorneys Officer for processing,” Lilburn police Chief Bruce Hedley told NBC Latino. “To preserve the integrity of the case, I will not be releasing further information concerning this incident.”

Sailors’ lawyer says his client is a Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal history and thought he and his wife were about to be victims of a home invasion. “You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

Source
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shadwrayvn 30th-Jan-2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
Oh fuck you! He was already backing out of the driveway there was no need to shot him again! He effing shot him in the head!
pandaeatworld 30th-Jan-2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
This. All of this.
girly123 30th-Jan-2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, that poor girl.

That said:

Sailors’ lawyer says his client is a Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal history and thought he and his wife were about to be victims of a home invasion. “You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

I hate this line of reasoning so fucking much. He shot and killed someone who was trying to get away from him; this man's ~spotless military history~ (lol) doesn't matter worth a fuck.
mickeym 30th-Jan-2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
I actually said "FUCK YOU" out loud as I read that. So what if he's a military veteran? So what if he's dedicated his life to community service? She still went batshit crazy and killed someone who was no threat to him. Jesus.
windsong_moon 30th-Jan-2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
So... being a veteran entitles you to shoot whomever you like because you've served the community? I don't think that's how it works.
skellington1 30th-Jan-2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
Apparently it's like a legal indulgence system. WHO KNEW?
castalianspring 30th-Jan-2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
Sailors’ lawyer says his client is a Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal history and thought he and his wife were about to be victims of a home invasion. “You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

No excuse whatsoever, if it was only a car pulling into the drive, no weapons shown, no threats, etc. What a complete overreaction, and now an innocent young man is dead. Very glad this guy's been arrested and charged.
sunktheglow 30th-Jan-2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
Uh, people pull in my driveway and back out all the time. Not to mention, I get unexpected visitors. I don't go outside and shoot people for that. It's not like the guy was at his front door, playing with the lock with a bobby pin or whatever.
evilnel 30th-Jan-2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
I think this is the worst part. If this had been a car full of white folks, the guy probably would have been like 'oh well, got turned around' but because it was Latino people he was like ZOMG I'M ABOUT TO BE ROBBED!!! Racist much? :/
hinoema 30th-Jan-2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
“You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

SO FUCKING WHAT. HE'S ALSO A MURDERER.

JFC. He had no damn business shotting someone like that who had no weapon and was posing no imminent threat. STFD, lawyer. He can't get out of this one on privilege, whether that's white privilege, Christian privilege or anything else.

Edited at 2013-01-30 04:26 pm (UTC)
emofordino 30th-Jan-2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
seriously, the guy was even pulling away! I can't even understand shooting a warning shot (unless you REALLY legitimately feel like you're in danger, which this guy obviously wasn't because he had a gun and the victim didn't) because you could still end up hurting someone on accident. so shooting at someone who is clearly trying to gtfo of there is even more mind-boggling to me.
spinnigold 30th-Jan-2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
“You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

...So?? I don't care if he's the Queen of bloody Sheba--he used excessive force and murdered another person. The end.
hippie_chick 30th-Jan-2013 04:30 pm (UTC)
I could give a fuck less whether this old man was a veteran and I don't give a fuck if he has no prior criminal history. He's a MURDERER now. Plain and simple as that.
oumeoumai 30th-Jan-2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Right? Gotta start somewhere.

What a piece of shit.
rainbow_fish 30th-Jan-2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
Omg this is awful :(
mickeym 30th-Jan-2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
“You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

I love how they mention *specifically* that he's worked with the ministry in Latin America. No doubt to try and say 'hey, he didn't MEAN to be a threat to this Latino dude! It was all a mistake! Look how many souls he's saved elsewhere!'

Ugh. I pull in to driveways and back up/turn around if I need to and there's nowhere else to turn around at. Since when does that equal potential home invasion? Who the hell greets people turning into their driveway with a freaking GUN??
clevermanka 30th-Jan-2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
I love how they mention *specifically* that he's worked with the ministry in Latin America.

SOME OF HIS BEST FRIENDS ARE LATINOS.
jettakd 30th-Jan-2013 04:36 pm (UTC)
HE SHOT A RETREATING MAN WHO HAD NO WEAPONS WHATSOEVER. He's a murderer and he should be charged.
dearmisterecho 30th-Jan-2013 04:40 pm (UTC)
“You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”



Poor guy, too awful to even begin to imagine.


edit for gif copying fail

Edited at 2013-01-30 04:41 pm (UTC)
sitaangel 30th-Jan-2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
It doesn't sound like they ever got out of the car. Like hell the guy thought he was going to be robbed. Now this guy can add murderer to his list of accomplishments.
69love_songs 30th-Jan-2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
This is actually horrific. :/
poetic_pixie_13 30th-Jan-2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
Sailors’ lawyer says his client is a Vietnam veteran with no prior criminal history and thought he and his wife were about to be victims of a home invasion. “You have to understand this is a 69-year-old man who is a military veteran who has been honorably discharged,” Michael Puglise says. “He dedicated his life to community service, specifically the Christian Lay Ministry in Latin America.”

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wikilobbying 30th-Jan-2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
this is exactly the comment i wanted to make
oddityangel 30th-Jan-2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, Mr. Sailors, a (possible) lifetime of good completely undone by one unjustified and terrible action. You've taken an innocent life, devastated a family and traumatized every individual in that car. I hope you enjoy your new legacy.

How awful.
tothechangmin 30th-Jan-2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
jesus fuck i feel so angry reading this. ffs the guy actually rolled down the window to apologise and he got fucking shot in the head.

the poor girlfriend :/
vulturoso 30th-Jan-2013 07:40 pm (UTC)
I know. The guy was decent enough to fucking apologize to this unhinged son of a bitch, and those manners got him KILLED.
badgerly 30th-Jan-2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
"Accidentally"? I have a hard time swallowing that one. Of all people, a vet should have safe and responsible handling of firearms practically hard wired into his brain. Shooting into the air was stupid. If you're firing a warning shot, you don't fire into the air, no matter what they do on teevee. What goes up, must come down. To fire a second shot as they were leaving, and clearing shooting to kill? Nope, I have hard time believing he didn't fully intend to kill.
lykomancer 30th-Jan-2013 05:07 pm (UTC)
Jesus Christ, if I shot everyone who pulled into my driveway by mistake, my body count would be in the triple digits within a year.
farchivist 30th-Jan-2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Further information: Pulling into the driveway was the result of GPS leading him to the wrong house

A picture of Mr Sailors:

mickeym 30th-Jan-2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
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,” the attorney said.

What innocence, is what I want to know? He shot a man in cold blood. He didn't ask what they were doing there, he didn't give them a chance to leave, he didn't do anything but shoot and kill someone. Ugh.
coconut_theory 30th-Jan-2013 05:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm not surprised this happened in Gwinnett. The county has recently become majority minority and some of these white folk are losing their damned minds over it.

I feel that as a veretan, he had more reason to not be reckless. Shooting in the air? Irresponsible gun use. And shooting him in the head after he backed out and apologized is just disgusting.

Also, here is another article from the local news: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/man-69-accused-of-killing-man-who-went-to-wrong-ho/nT8xp/

From the article:

According to [his attorney], Sailors grabbed his gun as he headed outside, firing a warning shot into the air. He said he fired at Diaz only after Diaz accelerated his car toward him.

“He thought he was going to get run down,” the lawyer said.

But the police report indicates that the vehicle was leaving Sailors’ property when Diaz was shot. Lilburn police said they found his red Mitsubishi at the end of the driveway. Diaz was slumped over the steering wheel, blood covering his face and, the incident report states, struggling to breathe.
mamamilkshake 30th-Jan-2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
I was going to say something similar about Gwinnett. I spent my high school years in the county and still have family who live there. I'm white and married to an Asian man and the majority of the issues we've ever experienced with racism in the south have either been in the very rural parts of Georgia or else in Gwinnett while visiting family.

What has transpired is absolutely abhorrent and outrageous and tragic beyond words. The fact that Diaz was murdered while doing something so mundane and typical makes it more chilling IMO. He turned around while not being white. That was his 'crime' Yet another beautiful young person who life is gone for nothing.
vanishingbee 30th-Jan-2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
This is so fuckig depressing. :/ I hope we get more updates on it. Someone lost their life because of a misunderstanding. If this guy weren't so ready to shoot, an innocent young man would still be alive. Shoot first, ask questions later is so pervasive and so damaging.
ahestele 30th-Jan-2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
Okay, so the only Latinos he does not feel threatened by are in ANOTHER COUNTRY. They are lying about Diaz accelerating the car forward; the evidence shows that.

This is so awful, and such a waste of a young life. I'm Latina and, sadly, I'm relieved to at least be female so I maybe won't get accidentally murdered by a latently bigoted person with a gun.
girly123 30th-Jan-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
I'm relieved to at least be female so I maybe won't get accidentally murdered by a latently bigoted person with a gun.

I know that feeling. :c
halfshellvenus 30th-Jan-2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
who thought his home was being robbed, his lawyer says.

Robbed from his DRIVEWAY? By people who didn't even get out of the car?

Fuck this guy ten ways from Sunday, and put his racist ass in prison for the murder he committed.

messiah_noire 30th-Jan-2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Don't you know? Latinos always rob houses from their cars via TELEKINESIS!!!1! D:

I really can't with this guy...
can_be_cruel 30th-Jan-2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
I don't care if you're a Christian and a vet and what-the-fuck-ever, none of that means you're not a racist old shithead.
vulturoso 30th-Jan-2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
But Christians are the only group with ~*morals*~, remember?
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