Windsor Hills Baptist Church pastor Tom Vineyard won't face charges for the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old burglary suspect.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said the use of deadly force by the 48-year-old pastor against the intruder Keontre Reese was "completely legitimate."
According to Prater, Vineyard was out Christmas shopping on Saturday afternoon when his alarm company informed him that a motion detector had been activated in his house. The pastor went home and while checking the premises, was attacked by Reese, who authorities said entered Vineyard's property through an air conditioning unit space.
The Oklahoma City police said in a statement on Tuesday, "The resident, Tom Vineyard, came home and interrupted the burglary while it was still in progress. Mr. Vineyard became involved in a physical altercation with Reese, inside of the residence. While defending himself during the altercation, Mr. Vineyard shot and killed Reese."
News9.com reports that Vineyard's son called 911 around 3:15pm on Saturday. He told dispatchers that someone had broken into their home in Moulton Dive and that his father had shot them.
Vineyard, whose front door has a sign that reads "Nothing on this property is worth your life," is a staunch supporter of gun rights. In 2011, he penned an open letter to Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty, in which he criticised the chief for pushing for stricter gun registration laws.
The pastor further inspired controversy for offering gun training to the members of his church, including children.
Still, the pastor is likely struggling with the shooting incident, said Miles Hall, the founder of H&H shooting sports and a friend of Vineyard, whom he described as "a good, kind and decent man."
"He'll carry this with him. I'm glad he was able to do what he had to do in order to protect his son in this particular case that we've heard. But nobody's happy when they have to do this. It's unfortunate that we're forced into these situations," said Hall.