DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The intruder in his home had just shot his wife, the woman he had loved since he was a teenager, Derrick Yancey told police.
So Yancey, 46, a DeKalb County sheriff's deputy who was off-duty at the time, shot and killed the stranger, he said. His wife, 44-year-old Linda Yancey, also died inside the home that the couple shared for a decade.
They had been high school sweethearts.
"She was in ninth grade and he was in 11th grade when they met," DeKalb Sheriff Thomas Brown said at a press conference Tuesday.
Brown said the incident shook the Sheriff's Office, where both Yanceys worked. Derrick Yancey is a 17-year-veteran deputy whose job was to transport inmates around the state. Linda Yancey had worked for the department for 13 years, first in the county court and most recently as intake officer in the juvenile court.
Police are still trying to piece together what happened inside their brick two-story home. Yancey is the only witness to the shootings that prompted a 911 call to the upscale subdivision at about 1 p.m. Monday.
DeKalb County police, who are investigating the incident, did not release details. Yancey said he did not know the man, who police had yet to identify Tuesday.
"We are still unsure who the man was, how that man got into the house or why he was there," said Mekka Parish, spokeswoman for DeKalb police.
Police are waiting for an autopsy to help reveal the identity of the man, identified only as a Hispanic male. A relative told police that the man might have been a day laborer, but police were unable to confirm that information, Parish said.
Neighbors in the quiet subdivision said Yancey would hire workers to help with landscaping and plantings at his home. But he also took personal care of the lawn, which stands out even in a neighborhood of groomed lawns and sculpted plants.
"His yard is always meticulous," said Rhonda Broughton, who lives down the block. "He cut his grass every two or three days. He had to, because it's that grass they use for golf courses."
Yancey and the couples' two sons, ages 8 and 18, are staying with relatives. The younger son arrived home Monday from day camp to find investigators and media swarming the area, neighbors said.
Yancey is on paid administration leave. The Sheriff's Office will conduct an internal investigation to make sure Yancey followed procedures when he fired his gun.