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'He died protecting us' | Girlfriend mourns man killed in Cramerton home invasion

Heidi McQueen said she, as well as her two children, wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for Brenton McCaskill, who fought off 3 intruders when he was shot.

CRAMERTON, N.C. — A Cramerton man died after being shot during a home invasion early Monday was defending his family from the intruders, his girlfriend said. 

Heidi McQueen said three people broke into their home. She said McCaskill fought one of the suspects before chasing them outside. That's when he was shot by one of the suspects.

"Josh, [my son], and I tried to perform CPR," McQueen said. "But, it was too late."

According to the Gaston County Police Department, the incident happened early Monday at McCaskill's home on Fifteenth Street. When Cramerton Police officers got to the home, they found McCaskill suffering from a gunshot wound. He was rushed to CaroMont Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

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McQueen told WCNC Charlotte if it wasn't for Brenton McCaskill's quick actions, she and her two children, as well as her son's boyfriend, wouldn't be alive today.

"Brenton McCaskill is a hero," McQueen said. "He lived his life a hero, and he died a hero. He died protecting us."

McQueen shared with WCNC Charlotte who McCaskill was as a person. Watch the exclusive interview here:

Police identified four suspects in the case: Jonathan Elijah Jones, Ramon Lopez, Tyler Leonhardt and Tyler Reno.

Jones and Lopez are both charged with first-degree murder while Leonhardt and Reno are charged with accessory after the fact.

According to arrest warrants, Leonhardt and Reno are accused of helping to get rid of the gun used in the shooting.

McQueen said they went to the courthouse to witness the bail hearing for the suspects connected to the crimes. 

She said they hoped for no bail because "I can't have this person out on the street because I can't have him come back without Brenton here."

As of Tuesday night, all four suspects remain in the Gaston County Jail.

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