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Home invaders shoot, kill man at Norcross complex

NORCROSS - Driving through the Park Lake apartment complex near Norcross Wednesday afternoon it was nearly undetectable that about six hours prior the complex was the crime scene of a deadly home invasion.

The gates to the complex on Park Lake Lane just off Holcomb Bridge Road stood open to a well-kept, seemingly quiet apartment community about 1 p.m., but just before dawn the scene was quite different.

Police said Samuel James was shot to death about 4:15 a.m. when two men forced their way into the apartment home where James, his girlfriend and her two children slept. Neither the children nor the girlfriend were harmed.

Investigators processed the scene Wednesday and canvassed the area but were unable to release their findings, said Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman. She said nothing was taken from James during the morning invasion.

"Whatever information they did get from neighbors, I can't release because it is an active investigation," Spellman said. "We can't give out those kind of details because it will hinder the investigation."

Family members and friends of 27-year-old James flocked to an area of the parking lot in front of the 700 building Wednesday afternoon, many voicing their disgust with the incident.

James' girlfriend Latonya Perry, 28, said she vividly remembers when the two black men kicked in her door and while both men were wearing bandannas over their faces, she said their voices were familiar.

"If I was to hear the voice again I would know because it was a very familiar voice," Perry said.

The 28-year-old who is expecting James' child in February said she and her boyfriend had lived in the complex for about a year.

Perry said she doesn't know what would have prompted the shooting and police said a motive has not yet been established.

"I want them caught," Perry said of the men who shot her boyfriend. "(Police) say they just got to do an investigation."