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Wife of murder victim: "He died trying to protect us"

7:13 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Police say a man returning home from a restaurant was ambushed by several men who shot him to death early Tuesday.

The victim, 46-year-old Jerrick Jackson, later died at Grady Memorial Hospital.

The shooting and robbery happened just after 1 a.m. in the 2000 block of Lowe Street NW.

According to Atlanta police, Jackson and his wife were robbed by several men in masks before Jackson was shot multiple times in the torso.

Jackson is the youngest brother of Atlanta megachurch pastor Wiley Jackson, head of Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral. In a statement, Jackson called his brother's death a "senseless act of violence" and issued a plea for those responsible to turn themselves in.

Jackson's wife told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander the two had just returned home when they noticed a black car parked near their house. As the couple parked, she said, five men jumped out of the car and approached, guns drawn. They ordered the couple to the ground and took money, then demanded they go inside.

Jackson's 18-year-old stepdaughter was upstairs and heard the commotion.

"I heard footsteps, but the thing was, I heard too many. So I kind of eased back into my room," she said. "That's when I knew something was wrong."

Anbiya Mitchell had just returned home after completing her freshman year at Fort Valley State University. She said her stepfather knew she was inside, so when the men approached the house, he did what he could to keep them from getting inside.

"I heard gunshots and then I heard my mom screaming," she said.

Mitchell ran downstairs to find her stepfather bleeding and struggling to breathe, his wife by his side. She said when Jackson tried to stop the men from going upstairs, at least one shot him.

"I can honestly put him in a book with heroes," Mitchell said of her stepfather. "I really do feel like he's a hero. He's my hero."

Atlanta Police Major Darryl Tolleson said police are investigating to determine what was taken from the man's home. Tolleson said police believe the victim was targeted and said the incident was not a random act.

Police have not released a description of the wanted suspects or their vehicle.

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