When three teenagers forced their way into a stranger’s home, they never imagined they would be greeted by a homeowner’s son armed with an AR-15.
Maxwell Cook, 19, Jacob Redfearn, 17, and Jaykob Woodriff, 16, were shot and killed as they attempted to burglarize a home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, March 27. Police found a knife and brass knuckles after the violent confrontation. Authorities arrested a suspected getaway driver, 21-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez.
But now Redfearn’s grandfather says it was never a “fair” fight, and the teens shouldn’t have been killed.
“What these three boys did was stupid,” Leroy Schumacher told Oklahoma’s KTUL-TV 8.
“They knew they could be punished for it, but they did not deserve to die.”
Schumacher claims Redfearn was a good teenager who never got into trouble, according to the station.
“Brass knuckles against an AR-15? Come on, who was afraid for their life?” he asked.
The man who shot the suspects hasn’t been charged with a crime. Authorities say they believe he was acting in self-defense under Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
“There’s got to be a limit to that law,” Schumacher said. “I mean, he shot all three of them. There was no need for that.”
The grandfather continued: “These boys’ families are going to suffer with this the rest of their lives. We have to live with this the rest of our lives. You can’t change history, but you can damn sure learn from it, and maybe some kids will learn from this.”
The homeowner’s son, Zachary Peters, called 9-1-1 as he barricaded himself in the bedroom. He explained that he had shot two intruders, whose bodies were found in the kitchen. A third body was found in the driveway of the home.
Peters said he was frightened and never intended to take the intruders’ lives. He repeatedly asked officers: “Are they going to be all right? Are they going to be all right?”
Meanwhile, getaway driver Rodriguez told KOTV from a jailhouse: “We all knew what could happen. We always said if there’s guns, every man for themselves.”
Rodriguez couldn’t say why the teenagers decided to burglarize the home.
“We were just greedy. We were just greedy,” she said, the New York Daily News reported. “There was no real reason.”