Three juveniles were charged with murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault in connection with the Friday morning shooting of a husband and wife, which police said involved drugs.
James Earl Stone, 30, of Key Street in Edgefield, S.C., was killed when he was shot several times in the right side of his body, said Lt. Jack Francisco of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.
Lisa Stone, 27, suffered a gun shot wound to her head and two in her right arm, her family said.
She is listed in critical condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Quinton Christopher Cummings, 14, of Fairhope Street, Judson Harden, 15, of Yancey Court, and Justin Ronnel Williams, 16, of Reiser Court, were all arrested after 11:30 a.m. Friday and taken to Richmond County jail, police said.
The youths will be tried as adults because of the severity of the charges, according to authorities.
A drug buy is what led to the shooting, Lt. Francisco said.
Around 6 a.m., the couple was driving along McElmurray Drive in their Chevrolet Blazer, intending to purchase drugs, the officer said. The vehicle stopped at the Dupont Street intersection and was approached by the three suspects.
The suspects pulled out a gun and robbed the couple of at least $20, Lt. Francisco said. The couple were then shot several times. A bullet and casing from a .22-caliber gun was found in the truck.
Mr. Stone drove about 100 to 150 yards until he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the front yard of an abandoned house on McElmurray Drive, Lt. Francisco said.
Around 6:30 a.m., a sanitation worker found the couple and called police. Mr. Stone was declared dead at the scene.
Mr. Stone's father, James M. Stone, said crack cocaine ruined the lives of his son and daughter-in-law.
"My wife and I were just talking about it. We expected something like this would happen," James Stone said. "They had a drug problem. It's been going on for over 10 years."
On May 29, Mr. Stone had been told by police to stay away from Fairhope Street, in the same neighborhood where he died, Lt. Francisco said. He had been arrested for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence and running a stop sign.
Mr. Stone's father is now caring for the couple's three children, ages 10, 2 and 2 months.
"We got to raise them now. We'll raise them like they were supposed to be," Mr. Stone said. "When (the younger Mr. Stone) wasn't on the drugs, you couldn't ask for a nicer person. But when you're on that mess, you'll do or say anything."
Mrs. Stone's family sat in the intensive care waiting room Friday afternoon, hoping to hear good news.
"They say the first 72 hours are the most critical," she said. "We got a lot of faith -- from the grace of God. Keep us in your prayers. It'll be God's grace that saves her now."
Staff Writer Andrea Jones contributed to this article.