Five men, including four teens, are behind bars in Jones County charged with capital murder.
Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge identified the five as Carl Holder, 21, Tony Williamson, 18, De Shaun McDonald, 17, Victor Moffatt, 19, and Joseph Spivey, 16, all of the Hoy community in North Laurel. All five are making have made their initial court appearances.
The charge was upgraded to capital murder because the suspects also reportedly stole money and electronic devices from the home.
The five men were arrested by various agencies Monday and charged with the Sunday morning home invasion in the Hoy community which resulted in the death of 28-year-old Frederico Perez.
Authorities say Perez was shot trying to protect his home from the would-be robbers. Sheriff Hodge praised several agencies for their assistance in making the arrests, including the Laurel Police Department, and the Department of Corrections search dog team, the District Attorney's office, and sheriff's deputies.
Hodge said in the early morning hours Sunday two to four black men invaded a home on Hoy Road and shot Perez to death.
"We had a Hispanic man that had been shot," said Hodge. "South Central Regional Medical Center treated the victim who was later identified as Frederico Ramirez Perez, a 28-year-old Hispanic male who died from a gun shot wound."
Hodge added the men broke into the home through a side door but he is not for sure how long they were there. Several items were taken. The sheriff said the family had every right to defend themselves.
"They came into the home at approximately 2:09 in the morning. They invaded the home - two to four black males, there was a confrontation between the blacks and the Hispanics. The result of that - guns shots were fired. The law does state that you do have the right to protect personal property."
Hodge said when the suspects left the house they ran through a nearby wooded area. Search dogs were able to pick up on the trail, which lead them to a do-rag, and at that point the trail went cold.