Man accused in grandson's death says he pulled trigger in self-defense

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The grandfather accused of shooting and killing his 2-year-old grandson says he was pulling the trigger in self-defense.

Luis Torres, 39, spoke exclusively to Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh from inside the Gwinnett County jail Wednesday morning.

Channel 2 Action News placed a request for the interview first thing this morning and Torres immediately agreed to speak on camera.

He says he was defending himself inside his own home after he got into an altercation with the boy's father.

Today is full of regret knowing he cannot go back and change what happened.

Torres, an amputee, wiped away tears as sheriff's deputies wheeled him into the interview room. He's now charged with felony murder in the death of Deandre Vega.

"I hope he will forgive me," Torres told Kavanaugh in Spanish.

The shooting happened Tuesday night on Stafford Drive in Lilburn.

Torres said his grandson's father came to his home. Torres didn't want him there.

He didn't care, Torres said. He says the man walked into his garage.

"I was arguing with him and him with me. And he throws me to the floor and pushes me and hit me," Torres told Kavanaugh.

He showed Kavanaugh the bruises he says he got during the altercation. At some point, Torres grabbed his gun.

"And I shoot him once and (kept) running, and I shot him two times," he explained.

He says at that point the man ran back out of the garage, and hopped over Deandre, who was standing in the driveway. A bullet struck the boy in the chest.

Torres said when he realized what happened, he ran to the child.

Torres said he felt guilty and innocent as it relates to his role in the incident.

He said he was acting in self-defense in his own home.

Police, however, say his claims of self-defense doesn't add up.

"By the time the shooting actually occurred, the struggle was over," said Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith.

Meanwhile, Torres said he's devastated he can't undo what happened after he fired those shots. Torres said he held Deandre in his arms and begged for his forgiveness, knowing nothing would bring him back.

"I love my family, but I lost everything," he said.

Torres said he previously spent eight years in prison in Puerto Rico. Police said because of that, he could face more charges.



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