An Oklahoma man who fatally shot three teen burglars Monday after they broke into his father’s house in Broken Arrow told 911 dispatchers he thought he shot two of the intruders before barricading himself inside a bedroom.
The 911 call made after the shooting by Zachary Peters, a 23-year-old criminal justice student and airline employee, was released Wednesday by the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’ve just been broken into. Three men, two I’ve shot in my house,” Peters tells the dispatcher, telling her he thinks they’re bleeding. “I believe one’s down, one’s still talking. You need to get here now.”
Peters was on the phone with the dispatcher for about 7 minutes as sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting.
“I shot two of them and now I’m barricaded in my bedroom,” Peters said. “They broke in the back door. I can hear one of them talking.”
Police said all three teens were killed when Peters fired at them with an AR-15 rifle. Two died in the kitchen and a third collapsed and died in the driveway outside.
You can listen to the call below:
A woman who told police she drove the three teens to the house and planned to be the getaway driver is facing three counts of first-degree felony murder. Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, fled from the scene after hearing gunshots and later turned herself in at the Broken Arrow Police Department to give the officers the names of the dead teens, KOTV reports.
The sheriff’s office said Peters heard a “loud bang” as the teens broke through a glass door at the back of his house. He then armed himself with the AR-15 rifle and confronted the intruders in a hallway. He was not injured.
Two of the teens were armed, one with brass knuckles and another with a knife, police said.
“They were dressed in black, all had masks on, and all had gloves on,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told reporters, adding that the initial investigation suggests the teens planned to burglarize the house. “There was a short exchange of words and then gunfire happened.”
Rodriguez, the 21-year-old woman who admitted to being the getaway driver, is also accused of planning the burglary, KTUL-TV reports. According to court documents obtained by the news station, Rodriguez had prior knowledge about the house and knew Zachary Peters by his first name.
“Rodriguez planned the burglary and took the three suspects to the residence on two separate occasions on today’s date wanting to steal items,” police said in a probable cause affidavit. “Rodriguez instructed the three suspects to burglarize the residence while she waited in the driveway in her vehicle until she heard gunshots then fled the scene.”
According to court documents, Rodriguez turned herself in after seeing news of the shooting on TV because she wanted police to be able to tell the families of the three teens about what happened. She refused to give further information to investigators. But another witness has given police information, according to the court documents.
“We know somehow they have some acquaintance, but we don’t know how or why,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the Tulsa World, of the relationship between Rodriguez and Peters.
Rodriguez is being held in jail without bail pending formal charges. Her arraignment was delayed on Tuesday because the investigation is continuing. She was arrested on probable cause, but the “matter is still under investigation,” prosecutors said.
Peters volunteered to go to the Wagoner Sheriff’s Office to give a statement to investigators, KTUL-TV reports.
“Preliminary investigation, it looks like it was self-defense,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the news station.
The Wagoner County District Attorney’s office will decide if charges are filed against Peters.
“This matter is currently still under investigation. The district attorney’s office is in consult with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for advice on this matter and will continue to work with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in this matter,” First District Attorney Jack Thorp said Tuesday at a press conference. “We do not anticipate filing formal charges until possibly later in this week or early next week.
“At that time there will be a final decision,” Thorp told reporters. “I know there’s questions that have been posed regarding ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as well as the application of the felony murder rule. We hope to hope to answers those questions with our formal filing decision when we reach that decision.”
Thorp said “there’s a lot of things to look at in this case.”
When asked about possible charges against Peters, Thorp said, “at this time, all charges and all the information is going to be reviewed.”
Thorp said, “This is obviously a triple homicide, and so we want to make sure that we cross all of our t’s and dot all of our i’s and insure that we have the maximum amount of information before we make formal decisions. It is complex.”