Family of Rincon teenager killed wants answers; police say shooting was self-defense
Burdette was shot and killed while police say he was attempting to rob another man
RINCON, Ga. (WTOC) - The mother of a man shot and killed in Rincon back in December is now hoping to get more answers about her son’s death.
According to Rincon Police, 19-year-old Kamarion Burdette was shot and killed by a man defending himself during a robbery. A claim his mother disputes.
Instead, she says her son was a victim, and the man who pulled the trigger belongs behind bars.
“We are standing here because we want justice for Kamarion Burdette, my 19-year-old son,” said Kamarion’s mother, Takiya Burdette.
Standing in the spot where, on Dec. 6, Kamarion was shot.
“Kamarion was a loving, loving…he was so full of life. He was so full of life,” Takiya said while holding back tears.
According to Rincon Police reports, Kamarion and another man, 18-year-old Terry Bailey, had planned to meet up with an acquaintance of Bailey’s to swap guns on Middleground Road.
Kamarion’s mother explains what she says police told her happened next.
“He was at the trunk of his car. My son came, according to the police, and put a gun to his rib cage.”
According to an incident report, the man being robbed claimed the gun was actually held to his head. The report goes on to say, with the gun still pointed at him, he walked back to his car as, “he was not going to be robbed.”
At that time, he told police that he attempted to put his vehicle in reverse, but it didn’t move, so he grabbed his pistol and opened fire.
Details that strike a chord with Kamarion’s mother.
“So, he felt safe enough to talk to his car to retrieve a gun. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Takiya.
The report says the man then claimed he drove roughly three miles away to Blue Jay Road, where he called police to report an attempted armed robbery. Police interviewed the 19-year-old and his girlfriend, who was with him at the time, then he was released.
“Where in America does that happen? Where you can just kill somebody and go home?” Takiya said.
Police say the investigation so far indicates the shooting was an act of self-defense. Kamarion’s mother wondering how they came to that conclusion, she says, so quickly.
“How did they let him go in a matter of three hours without properly investigating my son’s case?”
A timeframe Rincon Police did not confirm.
Meanwhile, the man with Kamarion that night, Terry Bailey was arrested and charged in his death
This is where Georgia law comes into play. Because investigators say Bailey and Kamarion were committing the crime of robbery and the other man was just defending himself, Bailey is facing felony murder charges because a death happened during the attempted robbery, and the shots fired, authorities say, were justified.
A shock to Takiya, who questioned whether it was self-defense at all as the incident report and statements from investigators do not reveal any evidence of Kamarion or Bailey ever opening fire.
“If no one was shooting back at you why did you shoot 8 to 14 times? Why was bullets flying everywhere? If nobody shot back at you, why shoot 8 to 14 times?”
Authorities say approximately five spent shell casings were found in the vehicle that night.
Although Kamarion’s family feels the wrong man is behind bars, even suggesting Bailey and Kamarion were the ones being robbed that night, during Bailey’s probable cause hearing investigators say a phone conversation between he and his girlfriend was entered into evidence in which Bailey could be heard saying “I got to find a way to beat this…” prompting her to “...tell them that the dude tried to rob me.”
Despite that, questions still remain for Kamarion’s family and friends who say they will continue to fight for justice.
“We want to see him held accountable for taking a man’s life. My son didn’t deserve to be murdered; he didn’t deserve. His friend who is being held for his murder; he doesn’t deserve it,” Takiya said.
Although, aside from Bailey, no other charges have been filed at this time, according to the Rincon Police Department the case has been reviewed by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been consulted as well.
Rincon Police say it remains an open investigation and should new evidence surface, more charges would be filed accordingly.
The City of Rincon also released a statement saying in part, “December 6, 2021 there was an unfortunate and tragic incident where a life was lost. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident, families are hurting, and our sympathies go out to them.”
They continued, “As a city we are committed to making sure that all the proper information is reviewed and explored, while remaining completely transparent throughout the process.”
You can read the full statement below:
Rincon Police also released a statement. You can read it in full below:
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