Houston & Peach

‘Suspicious’ death of 19-year-old prompts police investigation in Warner Robins

An autopsy is scheduled on the body of a 19-year-old who was found dead early Thursday in Warner Robins.

Just before 1 a.m., Warner Robins police were called to the 100 block of Windsor Drive for a report of a deceased person, a news release from Warner Robins police said.

“At this time officers are investigating this incident as a suspicious death until an autopsy can be completed,” the release said.

Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin said the teenager was shot once in the chest with a handgun inside a small building in the backyard of a residence at Windsor and Oliver drives, about a block off of Russell Parkway.

Galpin said he thought the weapon had been recovered by police.

The victim did not live there and apparently was sleeping “anywhere anybody would let him,” he said.

Authorities are unsure if the shooting was a homicide, suicide or accident, Galpin said.

Authorities expect an autopsy Friday at a Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab to shed more light on the shooting, Galpin said.

No other information was released by police.

Jerry Herrin, who lives on Oliver Drive, across from the side of the home with a view of the storage building, said he woke up about 2:30 a.m. and saw the lights from the police vehicles. He woke up his wife, Gloria.

“There’s something going on, and it doesn’t look good,” Jerry Herrin recalled saying.

Crime scene tape was wrapped around 101 Windsor Drive, police cars were lined up and roads were blocked off.

Gloria Herrin said a police officer on the scene told her that authorities suspected the shooting was accidental, but that could change in the course of the investigation.

Later in the day, the Herrins said they invited the teenager’s family members into their house and offered them refreshment from the heat. His family members came to Warner Robins from the Atlanta and Columbus areas, the Herrins said.

“I’d like to think that somebody would do something like that for me,” Gloria Herrin said.

The Herrins said they didn’t know the teenager, but they had heard that he might have been living at a friend’s house in the neighborhood. They did not know anything about that person.

They also heard the teenager was a “well-behaved young man.”

Crime scene investigators remained on scene throughout the day, going in and out of the small building that had a small carport attached.

No other information was released by police.

Anyone with information in the teen’s death is urged to call Detective Trent VanLannen at 478-302-5380 or leave anonymous tips with Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.