DECATUR — Sworn police affidavits have revealed more of the motive and violent details surrounding a string of three Decatur home invasions in which armed men went in search of guns and cash to steal.
Affidavits from from Decatur police detective James Knierim describe how Rahiam A. Shabazz, 18, and a 16-year-old juvenile were driving around the night of Nov. 20 complaining they had warrants out for their arrest. They were riding with their friends and fellow accused home invasion accomplices, Dondrion L. Austin, 18, and 19-year-old Byron D. Theus, and decided they would “get some guns and money” before going to jail, Knierim said.
The detective said they struck first at 7:40 p.m. in the 400 block of Shadow Lane, where they burst into the home of a man and his wife. Knierim said the man was hit in the back of the head with a handgun and the man's wife was clubbed to the ground after she tried to run screaming from the house.
She told police all five suspects — the group includes an as-yet unidentified suspect — were all armed. “(Her husband) said he was walked by three of the suspects to a bedroom where they told him, ‘Give me your money and guns,’” Knierim said. The men grabbed a .22-caliber handgun, $400 in cash and three cellphones valued at more than $1,100 before fleeing.
The affidavits describe the other two home invasions in less detail, but said the gang struck again in the 1800 block of North Summit Avenue barely 15 minutes later. Just before 10 p.m., they struck a third time, targeting a home in the 400 block of North 33rd Street, but police had been alerted, and Knierim said they were waiting to chase down four of the armed men as they tried to flee the scene. Police said they recovered eight guns during their investigation.
Theus, Austin and Shabazz were all booked on preliminary charges of home invasion, armed robbery and aggravated battery, all subject to review by the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office. Court documents say bail was set for Austin and Shabazz at $25,000 each and $10,000 for Theus. The juvenile was petitioned to court and is being held in a juvenile detention facility.