A Georgia woman who once spoke of “bad blacks” being at the root of most local crimes was arrested after allegedly shooting a black teen in the head as he walked past her home, officials said.
Elisabeth Cannon, 47, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault for shooting Vernon Marcus Jr. as he and a group of friends walked by her Macon house at about 8 p.m. Monday, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said.
It was only after the other teens heard several shots that they noticed the 15-year-old boy had been hit, police said.
Marcus was rushed to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, where he was listed in stable but critical condition, authorities said.
Cannon was released from jail Tuesday evening after posting $12,400 bond, online records show.
She later claimed in an interview with a local television station that she shot the boy in self-defense, alleging that Marcus and his friends had been throwing rocks at her home for months.
“I’m not an evil person or a bad person,” Cannon told WMAZ-TV from her house that she shares with her husband and her 16-year-old daughter.
Cannon said that a Bibb County deputy had recently told the teens they weren’t allowed near her property, but that “things got worse” after she called police last week to report the rock-throwing, which allegedly caused damage to the home and the family’s two cars.
“When they would see us in the yard, they would glare at us and say 'I know you're the ones who called police on us,’” she said.
It was not immediately clear if Marcus, who is believed to live nearby, had ever thrown any rocks.
Hours before the shooting, Cannon called the sheriff’s office to report that kids were throwing rocks at her home three days earlier, officials said.
Then, Cannon claimed, the boys returned.
"I saw them out of the corner of my eye," she told WMAZ. "The barrage of big rocks started, not just at my car and house, but me. I started shooting in their direction. They started running.”
Bibb Sheriff’s Sgt. Pamela Williams said at a first-appearance hearing on Tuesday that Cannon admitted she fired several shots to “scare” the boys, but that she “didn’t mean to hit one of them,” the Macon Telegraph reported.
One of Marcus’s friends told police that they were walking back to their house from the store when they heard the shots, Williams said.
Williams said the person with Marcus also told investigators that Cannon had in the past “been harassing them, claiming that they’ve been breaking into her house... He also said that she’s used several racial slurs towards them,” the Telegraph wrote.
"Maybe it wasn't the best decision to make, but I thought eventually they might hurt us," Cannon told WMAZ.
Cannon had lamented the effect black males had on her neighborhood before, telling the Telegraph in 2013: “You try not to profile but at the same time 99.9% of the crime is going to be, most often, a black male."
"I have some really good black neighbors. But the good blacks won't get onto the bad blacks,” she said. “The good blacks are too busy. They walk by your house; they won’t give it a second look... You can tell if they’re just out walking for exercise or going to the store or whether they’re up to something."