A 14-year old black teenager was shot on the head around 2:00AM, on Friday, July 26, 2013 by Merritt Landry, a 33-year-old “white caucasian” who said he thought the teen was a burglar. The shooting took place at Merritt’s home in Marigny, New Orleans.
Louisiana’s Castle statutes — which carry subtle differences from the now-notorious Stand Your Ground laws — allow the state’s residents to use force, “deadly or otherwise, to protect oneself on his or her property.”
Despite invoking the law, Landry was charged with second-degree murder.
A single spent cartridge case was recovered at the scene, indicating that a semi-automatic weapon was used and suggesting that a single shot was fired.As of this writing the victim is reported to remain alive, in critical condition at a local hospital.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Coulter remains in critical condition. Family members told the paper that while he can slightly move the right side of his body, he would have severe brain damage if he survives.
The teen had a few burglary charges against him, though his family told the paper that none of those had ever been armed robberies.
The paper spoke to other neighbors, who said they saw Coulter biking around the neighborhood earlier Friday evening. “I thought about calling the cops, but the last thing I want to do is racially profile a little kid who’s just biking,” the neighbor told the Times-Picayune.
According to the arrest warrant, Landry shot the teen once in the head. The buildings inspector for the Historic District Landmarks Commission was booked on second degree murder charges.
Merritt Landry, 33, fired one shot at a teen when he saw him in his front yard on Mandeville Street in the Marigny around 2 a.m., according to the NOPD.
He is married with one daughter and a second child on the way.
Police sources later told the Times-Picayune that Coulter posed no threat to Landry or his family.
Landry’s attorneys said in a statement that they are convinced in his innocence. “We are sure — as facts come to light — it’ll become clear that Mr. Landry will be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing,” they said in part.
The case holds an uncanny similarity to last month’s sensational George Zimmerman murder trial, where the former Sanford, Fla. neighborhood watch captain was acquitted of murdering unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Read more: Daily News