DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An uncle of one of the two teens shot and killed in a Dayton garage in August says he is grateful murder charges have been filed against the alleged shooter.
Victor Santana, 63, has been charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and five counts of felonious assault, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr. announced Thursday.
According to authorities, Santana shot and killed Javier Harrison and Devin Henderson, both 17, while they were trespassing in his garage on Conners Street August 28.
A third person fled the scene but later returned and was arrested, according to authorities.
Autopsy results from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office show the teens were both shot in the back.
Santana remains at the Montgomery County Jail, according to officials.
“Kind of excited to hear that it looks like justice is going to prevail,” said Matthew Harrison, Javier’s uncle.
Harrison told 2 NEWS he knew both of the teens and saw his nephew regularly.
“My nephew was a little knucklehead, but he was just so goofy,” he said. “He had this old grin. I don’t know anybody still to this day that would smile and [have] that kind of laugh.”
Harrison said he believes Santana had other options when he found the teens in his garage.
Heck echoed that sentiment at a press conference Thursday, saying it’s a crime to shoot someone solely for trespassing in a yard or detached garage.
“Call the police and ask for their assistance,” Heck said. “This is not someone who was breaking into a house. This is not someone who was breaking into an occupied car.”
Harrison told 2 NEWS he wants Santana to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“I advocate [for] self-defense and I work in security, so I understand having to protect myself in a situation,” Harrison said. “But there comes a line where you just can’t take the law into your own hands.”
For each count of murder alone in this case, Santana faces 18 years to life in prison, if convicted, according to the prosecutor’s office.