Law enforcement officials say that a gun taken in a July 5 burglary of a residence is the suspected weapon used in a slaying that night of a Norman Park man.

Six teenagers participated in the burglary and were joined by a seventh at the time John Hester Sr. was shot at the end of the driveway of his 353 Hwy. 256 residence, according to information released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Thursday.

Three of the seven teenagers arrested were members of last year’s Colquitt County Packers state champion football team. One of those three was a standout player who would have been a starting running back this year.

In a news release, the agency released the names of the six accused in the burglary that occurred July 5 in the 100 block of Lonnie Brookard Road. Those six teenagers and a seventh teen also have been charged in the killing of Hester.

Hester, 68, was taken to Colquitt Regional Medical Center after being shot after he apparently confronted the teens and exchanged gunfire at about 11 p.m. He was later transferred to Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, where he died at about 10 a.m. on July 6.

Family members told police they found Hester, who had been shot outside his residence. The initial call to the Colquitt County 911 Center was made at 11:56 p.m.

 The six charged in the burglary were arrested as part of an unrelated investigation conducted by the Norman Park Police Department and Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI said in its Thursday news release.

“Firearms and electronics were taken from the residence.  Law enforcement officers believe that a firearm taken during the burglary was used in the shooting of John Hester,” the release said.

Arrested on Wednesday and Thursday on charges of murder and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery were:

• Tykerious Raheem “Grumpy” Jones, 17, 129 Charm St. Apt. 6, Norman Park

• Derrick Demond Phillips, 18, 4520 U.S. Hwy. 319 N.

• Brandon Quanterrious “Brad” Wynn, 18, 4520 U.S. Hwy. 319 N.

• Christian Savion Glover, 18, 1515 Fourth Ave. N.E. Apt. L5

• I-Key Tumazs Pinkins, 18 429 Sunrise Ave.

• Ty’Cameron La’Darius Hayes, 18, 1515 Fourth Ave. N.E. Apt. E3

• Adrian Lyryan Robinson, 19

All of those seven, with the exception of Robinson, have been charged in the unrelated burglary on Lonnie Brookard Road.

Wynn, Pinkin and Jones were Packer football players. Jones would have been the featured running back this season.

The GBI said that law enforcement arrested the seven on Wednesday and Thursday.

Booking reports indicated that at least one of the suspects turned himself in at Norman Park City Hall after 2 a.m. Thursday. Norman Park police assisted in the investigation, according to the GBI.

Early reports indicated there was an exchange of gunfire between Hester and the suspects. A television news report said that there might have been a plan to rob Hester’s son. However, no details of the incident have been confirmed to The Moultrie Observer.

Officers are seeking to recover additional property taken in that burglary, the GBI said. Anyone with information can contact Norman Park police at (229) 769-3611 or the sheriff’s office at (229) 616-7430.

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