Oklahoma Man Uses AR-15 to Kill 3 Home Intruders

Oklahoma is a stand your ground state.

Elizabeth Rodriguez Oklahoma getaway driver

Oklahoma has stand your ground laws, which means that a person has some justification for using deadly force if they feel they need to protect themselves, their property or their loved ones while in their home. If you are in your home and are met with force, you can theoretically return that force if you believe you have no other choice. Now, I say theoretically because there are certainly instances we’ve heard of recently, like this one, and this one, where the person claimed a stand your ground defense but the police and legal system don’t buy it.

Well, here’s a new case to consider. A 23-year-old man in Oklahoma pulled out an AR-15 when he heard the sound of a forceful entry in his home. Around 12:30 pm on March 27 (that’s just a half-past noon, just to bring home the point that we’re not talking about a dead-of-night robbery here), an 18-year-old man and a 16- and 17-year-old forcefully entered the residence during the back door. Zach Peters, the 23-year-old son of the home’s owners, “exchanged words” with the intruders, and then fired multiple shots. His shots struck all three people, and killed them all.

The 21-year-old getaway driver, Elizabeth Rodriguez, surrendered a few hours after the incident, and boy is she facing some trouble now. Rodriguez is being charged with three murders because she was in “commission of a felony” when the took them to the house. This is her “intent” to burglarize the home. In other words, she was in on it and they’re not letting her off the hook just because she was “only” the driver.

Apparently, there was no connection between the homeowner and the victims. The home invaders were all wearing black clothing, masks and gloves. One was armed with a knife and another one had brass knuckles. At this point, the shooting is being investigated as self-defense, which seems reasonable to us, even though these weapons are certainly no match for the homeowner who pulls out an AR-15. Still, it shoes an intent to do harm, and unlike those other stand your ground cases we linked to earlier, these people were in the shooter’s home.

Image of Elizabeth Rodriguez from NBCNews.com