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Stepdad ‘shot and killed boy, 16, after lockdown tension boiled over’

A stepdad has been charged with murder after he allegedly killed his 16 year-old stepson after a row about the boy going out during lockdown. Bernie Hargrove, 42, reportedly shot De’onte Roberts at the family’s home in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday night after De’onte ignored his mother and stepdad’s warning not to leave the house.

Atlanta PD spokesman Steve Avery said De’Onte was shot after returning home and punching Hargrove in the fact. Avery explained: ‘Later, the victim returned to the home and kicked in the door to the house where a physical fight began between the suspect and the victim. During that altercation, the victim was shot.’

De’onte was blasted in the chest with a bullet and rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Hargrove was subsequently arrested, and booked into Fulton County Jail on Thursday morning on a felony murder charged, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A friend of the victim told WSBTV that De’onte was ‘a good kid.’

Atlanta Police Captain D’Andrea Price advised families to try and keep clear of one another if tensions threatened to boil over during the current shelter-at-home measures.

She said: ‘When the pressure gets hot, you just have to take a deep breath and you have to separate.

‘People are on top of each other right now. We’re staying in the house.’ Georgia has seen over 21,500 coronavirus diagnoses, and 872 Covid-19 related deaths. The state’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp has courted controversy over his plans to begin widespread re-openings from Friday.

President Trump himself has said he disagrees with Kemp’s plans – which will see businesses including tattoo parlors reopen – despite previously tweeting calls for other hard-hit states to ‘LIBERATE’ themselves from lockdowns.

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