‘None of this tragedy comes from a place of malice’: Man accused of shooting teenager campaigning for Sen. Warnock writes apology letter

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 2:32 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A teenager campaigning for Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock in Savannah was shot in December.

Court filings reveal a letter the suspect, 43-year-old Jimmy Paiz, wrote to the teen apologizing for the shooting.

In the letter, Paiz said he will endure lifelong shame because of this shooting and that he thought the 15-year-old campaigner was an intruder. This all coming ahead of Paiz’s scheduled court appearance happening in just a matter of days.

Paiz was arrested for the shooting which happened back on Dec. 1 in the 500 block of Hartridge Street.

A police report claims the teen had a small gunshot wound in his left thigh after investigators allege Paiz shot him through the front door.

Jimmy Paiz
Jimmy Paiz(Chatham County Jail)

In a letter filed in court to the teenage victim, Paiz said, “I am so very sorry, young man. I am sincerely ashamed to have hurt you, and all the more, for having done so while you were out righteously serving our community, and in a time of great struggle.”

The letter goes on to say, “please know that none of this tragedy comes from a place of malice. None. I took the events of this tragedy as an intrusion; that is all, without hate or rage, and solely from the position of feeling threatened.”

Sen. Warnock reacted to the shooting a day later during a campaign stop.

“Well, I was saddened to hear about this incident, and I’m praying for the young teen and their family even as we monitor what’s the situation,” Sen. Warnock said.

The Savannah Police Department said the teen has been released from the hospital.

Court documents show that Paiz was released on bond. Under the terms of his release, Paiz has been placed on house arrest and isn’t allowed to have any guns or dangerous weapons in his possession.

A Chatham County judge also ruled that Paiz must continue undergoing mental health treatment.

In his letter, Paiz said the teenager’s healing is the priority, saying, “had the events unfolded differently, you would certainly have been greeted at the door by a friend and ally, which is my lifelong shame to endure.”

WTOC reached out to both Paiz’s attorneys, who declined comment.

WTOC did not hear back from the teen’s family and the Warnock campaign on Friday, Jan. 6.

Paiz is charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

He has a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 19.