Tulsa police say there has been a noticeable increase in self-defense shootings this year.
The Tulsa World reports that of 11 homicide victims this year, five have been killed by security guards or civilians in shootings that the Tulsa Police Department considered self-defense. In 2014, six out of eight homicides that were self-defense shootings involved police officers. Tulsa police have not been involved in any self-defense shootings this year.
Only one of the self-defense shootings this year involved the "Stand Your Ground" law.
On Jan. 13, Bradley Keeling, a clerk at Ryan’s Convenience Store in east Tulsa, fatally shot two intruders during a robbery attempt. Keeling was not arrested, and nine days later, Luton issued a press release stating that the District Attorney’s Office had cleared Keeling of any wrongdoing.
Tulsa police have not released surveillance footage of the shooting, withholding it for evidence, since two people suspected of being accomplices in the botched robbery have been charged and are awaiting a preliminary hearing.
State statutes were expanded in 2006 and again in 2011 to broaden the definition of self-defense to protect people who believe someone who is entering their dwelling may use physical force against them.
Tulsa police homicide Sgt. Dave Walker says that the number of self-defense shootings this year has been "odd," but he expects the number to normalize over the upcoming months.
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