On March 27, 2017, Oklahoma Wagoner County deputies responded to a report of a possible home invasion with shots fired. Upon arrival, deputies found three suspects dead and the two residents uninjured.
Jessica Remer & Burt Mummolo report for ABC8 Tulsa that Deputy Nick Mahoney said the preliminary investigation shows that the three suspects went to the residence with the intent to burglarize the home: “They were dressed in black, all had masks on, and all had gloves on.”
The suspects broke in through a glass door in the back of the house, and encountered the homeowner’s 23-year-old son, who was carrying an AR-15.
Mahoney said, “There was a short exchange of words and then gunfire happened.” Two suspects died in the kitchen, and a third ran from the home but collapsed and died in the driveway.
One of the suspects had a knife and another had brass knuckles, according to investigators. Residents in the neighborhood say they’ve seen an increase in break-ins recently.
The homeowner’s son is cooperative and volunteered to go to the sheriff’s office to give a statement. He has not been charged with a crime. Deputies believe he fired in self-defense.
The three now-dead home invaders are 19-year old Maxwell Cook, 16-year old Jake Woodruff, and 17-year-old Jacob Redfearn.
Ethan Hutchins reports for ABC8 Tulsa, that Redfearn’s grandfather, Leroy Schumacher, said what his grandson and the other two “boys” did “was stupid,” but killing them was not needed: “They knew they could be punished for it but they did not deserve to die.”
Schumacher insisted his grandson never got into trouble, and that Jacob didn’t have a chance in an unfair match:
“Brass knuckles against an AR-15, come on, who was afraid for their life. There’s got to be a limit to that [homeowner’s self defense] law, I mean he shot all three of them; there was no need for that. 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.”
Although Schumacher supports the right to bear arms and protect your home, he doesn’t agree with shooting and killing intruders. He only hopes the deaths of his grandson and the other two “boys” can be an example for others: “You can’t change history, but you can damn sure learn from it, and maybe some kids will learn from this.”
So what would Leroy Schumacher recommend to homeowners in the midst of a home invasion? Defend their homes and their lives by always choosing a weapon that “matches” those of the home invaders?