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Immigrant Murdered For Driving into the wrong driveway

New details emerge in Lilburn shooting

By Christian Boone and Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The 22-year-old Duluth man shot by a Lilburn resident Saturday night after he accidentally pulled in the wrong driveway was struck just as he was driving off the 69-year-old retiree’s property, according to the incident report released Tuesday.

Officers said they arrived to find Rodrigo Diaz, 22, slumped over the steering wheel of his red Mitsubishi, parked at the end of Phillip Sailors’ driveway, heading east. Blood covered his face and, the report states, his breathing was labored.

Diaz was pronounced dead the following morning from a .22-caliber bullet that entered the left side of his head and fragmented, causing severe brain damage.

The accused shooter now sits in a Gwinnett County Jail cell charged with murder. According to the Lilburn police report, Sailors has said little about the incident save for a “spontaneous utterance that he shot the driver” to responding officers.

Two callers to 911 reported two gunshots and loud screams. One of the callers said a man could be heard yelling, ‘Why was someone trying to get inside [his] house.”

Sailors’ lawyer said the retiree, home with his wife at the time, acted in self-defense.

“He is very distraught over the loss of life from the defense of his home,” attorney Michael Puglise said Monday. “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.”

But Diaz’s friends say they were the innocent ones, having pulled into the Hillcrest Road driveway after receiving bad information from their GPS. They were picking up a friend to go skating with them.

Yeston Jimenez, 14, who was in the car along with his brother and Diaz’s girlfriend, told Channel 2 Action News that Sailors confronted them when he saw their car in the driveway, shooting once in the air.

Police arrived to find Diaz’s girlfriend covered in his blood, unable to get her boyfriend to respond.

After his arrest Sunday, Sailors declined, through his attorney, to speak with police.

Lilburn police are releasing few details.

“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,” Police Chief Bruce Hedley said.

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:23 PM
Replies (231-231):
by The Librarian on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:25 AM

 I wasn't making an argument, just thinking out loud.

Quoting brookiecookie87:


That arument makes no sense. It just means further down the road the man would have shot someone else.

He was a legal immigrant. But that has no bearing or justification for the man murdering him.

Quoting Billiejeens:


Well, just thinking that if he wasn't supposed to be here in the first place, the bullet probably wouldn't have reached the country that he was supposed to be in.

Quoting LucyMom08:

Even if he was, what bearing does that have on the story? Or is it ok to murder people in cold blood, in your world, if they're illegal?

Quoting Billiejeens:


Do we know?

Quoting katy_kay08:

you might be thinking it but that doesn't make it the case.  

Quoting Billiejeens:

I am thinking Diaz was an illegal, yes?








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