'Stand your ground' cited in fatal TN shooting - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Stand your ground' cited in fatal TN shooting

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Austin Ferrell Austin Ferrell
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MANCHESTER, TN (WSMV) -

A father is demanding answers after learning the person who shot and killed his son won't face charges. Police say the property owner shot in self-defense, but the family says the teenager was holding on to a puppy and looking for dog food.

Austin Ferrell, 17, was shot and killed by Nicholas Dipietrantonio after an argument in front of the duplex where they lived, and the district attorney's office said Wednesday there will be no charges filed in the case, because the shooter was standing his ground.

"Where was his rights in all this? Where was his rights from being cussed by an adult?" said the victim's father, Bobby Ferrell. "Was it his place to make an adult decision as a minor to walk away from an adult cussing him?"

Bobby Ferrell said neighbor Debra Ng was arguing and taunting Austin while he was trying to help his grandmother move out of the duplex.

"He turned back to his grandmother and told her, 'She just called me a little b----,'" Bobby Ferrell said.

Austin became angry and hit their door, breaking the glass.

When the glass broke, the argument escalated, and Dipietrantonio, who was inside the home, shot Austin in the chest and shot his uncle, George Taylor, in the shoulder. Police say the shooter was standing his ground.

"This is a 'stand your ground.' In this case, people within their home who are not acting unlawfully have no duty to retreat. They can stand their ground, defend themselves against entry. If there is a forceful entry, Tennessee law provides that there is a conclusive presumption of self-defense," said Coffee County District Attorney Mickey Layne.

Meanwhile, Bobby Ferrell said Taylor's criminal past has influenced the investigation and prevented justice for Austin.

"I don't feel that it got investigated very well. I feel like once they learned the name George Taylor, something must be bad here, because of their view on George, and it was approached in that way," Bobby Ferrell said.

Bobby Ferrell said he is seeking a lawyer, but right now he is lost and doesn't know what steps to take first. Meanwhile, friends have created a Facebook page called Justice for Austin.

The neighbor who shot Austin has moved out of the home and is now staying in a local hotel.

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