OCALA, Fla. - The home belonging to a man who shot and killed an 18-year-old in Ocala to protect a juvenile being held at gunpoint appears to have been purposefully set on fire, police said.
Last week, Edrige Rivers, 54, shot and killed Jeffrey Scott, 18, and critically wounded Marcus Cooper, 18, during an altercation outside Rivers' Northwest First Avenue home.
Cooper is expected to survive.
On Dec. 12, Scott got into fistfight with a juvenile following a basketball game at Vanguard High School, according to a police report.
Others got involved in the brawl, and two unidentified juveniles later went to the house of a friend who was badly beaten in the fight.
When they got to Northwest First Avenue, Scott and Cooper pulled up next to them and confronted the juveniles, police said.
Scott then pulled out a gun and pointed it at one of the juveniles, police said.
It was then that Rivers saw what was happening and told Scott to put down the weapon, witnesses said.
When the situation escalated, Rivers opened fire, hitting Scott and Cooper, police said.
Rivers told investigators he was in fear for his safety and for the safety of the juvenile being threatened.
Police said surveillance video and witness statements matched the Rivers' story and determined his use of deadly force was justified.
"Really, the key to that case was having the video surveillance," Ocala Police Department spokeswoman Meghan Shay said. "It backed up everything that was provided to us by witnesses and their statements."
Investigators said they believe the fire is directly related to the shooting.
The investigations into the fire and the shootings are ongoing.
"As that investigation unfolds, hopefully we will be able to share information with you regarding how those two (incidents) are connected, and who's responsible for that," Shay said.
Today Ocala police released more details, about what happened the night of the deadly shooting.— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) December 20, 2017
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