by: Richard Elliot Updated:ATLANTA —
An Atlanta man surrendered to police Friday afternoon after detectives accused him of killing a popular former Georgia State University soccer player.
Thirty-year old Emery Parrish walked into Atlanta Police Headquarters in downtown Atlanta at about 1:30 p.m., accompanied by his attorney, Dennis Scheib.
Police said Parrish lost control of his car and crashed through the front yard of a Milton Avenue house in southeast Atlanta early Sunday morning, then crashed into a Hummer parked in the driveway. Several people were at the house for a party.
Witnesses told police Parrish tried to get away, and said Ayokunle Lumpkin and others attempted to detain him until police arrived. They said Parrish shot Lumpkin in the chest in an attempt to flee the scene. Lumpkin later died at the hospital.
Parrish maintains he tried to cooperate with the partygoers but claims the intoxicated crowd grew belligerent and attacked him.
"For the record, I did not mean for this to happen," said Parrish minutes before he surrendered. "I told them I had a driver's license and insurance. They attacked me."
Parrish said Lumpkin climbed into his car and hit him repeatedly, so he grabbed his Glock-40 pistol and fired into the former soccer player's chest. He maintains he fired only in self-defense.
"I want to say sorry to the family. My heart goes out to the family. I just didn't mean for this to happen," Parrish said.
Scheib believes someone at the party took cell phone video of the incident.
"Anybody out there that's got a video, I would like them to be honest and to show the police the video," said Scheib.
Scheib believes once investigators finish processing Parrish's car, the evidence will prove his client is innocent.
"If they find blood that belongs to the alleged victim inside that vehicle, it sustains what (Parrish) says. This was self-defense," said Scheib.
Lumpkin's family could not be reached for comment.
Parrish was convicted on felony drug charges in 2003. It is illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms in Georgia.