TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma attorney representing the family of a 15-year-old fatally shot after he allegedly stole from a fireworks stand says there’s a lack of evidence to show that the man who shot him feared for his life.
Jake Ulrich died Tuesday after he and another suspect attempted to steal a box of fireworks, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2sU9QGf ) reported.
Johnny Mize Jr., 32, whose family owns the stand in Tulsa, reportedly exchanged gunfire with the suspects who were in a green truck. Ulrich was later found dead inside the truck.
The stand’s operator and Mize’s father said he saw Ulrich and another suspect place a large box in a truck when he heard a shot. He said his son allegedly returned a shot fired in an attempt to disable the vehicle.
Police records show Mize told detectives that he couldn’t remember what happened after shooting one of the rear tires. Mize claimed he could’ve “blacked out.”
A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said the District Attorney’s Office will be deciding whether the shooting was justified under a state Stand Your Ground law. The law applies if a person used defensive force after experiencing “reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm.”
But the Ulrich family’s attorney, Nathan Milner, said it doesn’t appear the robbery was forced with a weapon, but rather “simply a larceny.”
“That to me is not a forcible entry or a forcible act and does not invoke the Stand Your Ground law,” Milner said.
He also noted it’s not obvious that Ulrich had a gun at all.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com