Sanford homeowner who fatally shot teen in back won’t face charges, attorney says

Mark O’Mara represents Adrien Green, who police say was breaking into car

State prosecutors have decided not to file charges against the Sanford homeowner who fatally shot a 17-year-old during an attempted car burglary in May, according to the attorney for the teen’s family.

SANFORD, Fla. – State prosecutors have decided not to file charges against the Sanford homeowner who fatally shot a 17-year-old during an attempted car burglary in May, according to the attorney for the teen’s family.

Sanford police said a homeowner on Garrison Drive shot Adrien Green in the middle of the night on May 6.

Officers say Green was able to take off eastbound down Anderson Street. Officers found him around 1:17 a.m. lying on the road with a single gunshot wound to his back, according to Sanford police. Green was a junior at University High School in Volusia County, according to his family.

The case was turned over to the 18th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in early June to determine whether charges would be filed, or whether a grand jury would be seated for the case. State Attorney Phil Archer said in June he would personally review the case and evidence.

State Attorney Phil Archer released a statement Tuesday, saying he will not pursue charges.

“There is no question that this incident is a tragedy with heartbreaking consequences that touch not only the Green family, but our community as a whole. No young person should lose their life in such a violent manner and no parent should have to deal with burying their child at 17. Ever,” Archer wrote in his statement. “The fact that Mr. Green was committing serious felony crimes in this case is not disputed.”

He proceeded to explain though it was an unfortunate event, the homeowner did nothing illegal outlining evidence Green had committed a crime by entering on the homeowners property and working to break into the homeowner’s vehicles.

“This does not mean that I don’t wish that the resident had chosen a different response to this situation. Could he have stayed inside and waited for the police to respond? Absolutely. The resident himself has expressed deep remorse to the investigators that his actions ended a young man’s life,” Archer said. “I’m certain he would make a different choice if he had it to do over. But the fact that he had other choices does not mean that the choice he made was an unlawful one.”

Read Archer’s full explanation by clicking here.

In newly released body camera video, the shooter can be heard talking to deputies when arrived.

“We had the door cracked, so when I saw that he moved I just reacted and shot twice,” he said.

Prosecutors said his name is not being released because of a privacy law called Marsy’s law.

Green’s family told News 6 they’re upset about the decision not to file charges.

“All the points they were bringing up today, it did not add up to him being killed and that guy not being arrested,” Green’s aunt Gina Doughty said. “It’s more to the story and we’ll get to it.”

Green’s mom Andrea Green said, “Shame on you. You solicited the help of 911, then you took things into your own hands.”

She said she’s distraught.

“Can’t stop the tears, can’t stop the tears, but what else can you do?” Andrea Green said.

Attorney Mark O’Mara, who represents Green’s family, said the family met Tuesday morning with Archer and Sanford police officials and was told the state would not be pressing charges against the homeowner or sending the case to a grand jury.

[MORE COVERAGE: Fatal shooting of teen suspect in Sanford burglary isn’t clear case of self-defense, lawyer says | Friends and family gather for protest as prosecutors continue to look into fatal shooting of Sanford teen]

O’Mara said the community should perhaps have more involvement in these types of cases.

“Let’s get the grand jury, the community involved in addressing and maybe resolving some of these shootings of young Black males,” O’Mara said.

In June, when the case was handed over to the state attorney’s office for final review, Seminole County Assistant State Attorney Dan Faggard said under Florida law, when an individual is committing a forcible felony, including robbery, the victim is allowed to use deadly force to prevent that person from going through with that forcible felony.

Faggard said the incident would likely be investigated as a stand your ground case, a controversial Florida law that allows victims to use force in self-defense when one is fearing for their life. He was careful to outline that statute extends beyond the well-known portions of the controversial law, saying there are multiple components that discuss the justifiable use of deadly force.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

About the Authors:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.