Penn Square Mall Shooter Claims Self-Defense

Monday, December 23rd 2019, 8:50 am
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The attorney of a man who shot one person at an Oklahoma City mall said he's claiming self-defense. 

As Christmas shoppers were ringing in the holidays at Penn Square Mall Thursday, shots rang out causing panic.

Read Related: OCPD: 1 Critically Injured In Shooting At Penn Square Mall; Police Looking For Suspect 

Court documents obtained by News 9 show there was a fight at the mall and, according to witnesses, once the physical fight appeared to be over, Elizha "Trey" Sanders reached into his pants and retrieved a firearm and began firing at the victim, Gerron Cobb. 

After Cobb was shot, he fell and began crawling out of the store. Sanders pursued him, continuing to shoot at him. Cobb was struck at least two times. 

Sanders' attorney, David Slane said there's more to the story though. Slane said Sanders was attacked by four guys and had to defend himself.

"How would you feel if you were shopping for a Christmas gift for your sister and you were being beat by four men. Do you think you would defend yourself?" Slane said. "My client is being tried in the court of public opinion and that's not where he's ultimately going to be tried. He's going to be tried in a court of law."

Sanders is on probation for obstructing an officer in 2018, but his attorney said he holds a valid gun license.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was not able to confirm that. 

The mall does have signs up forbidding people from carrying a gun, but legally that doesn't carry any weight. 

“Carrying a gun into the mall, even if it’s marked no weapons, is not illegal unless they deny you access to it," said Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. “The stand your ground law would still apply to a person who is peacefully legally carrying a gun inside the mall even if the mall is marked no firearms.”

"He didn't go to them and cause this problem. He didn't go there and start an altercation. They did," Slane said.  "People say, well maybe he was on probation. Maybe he was. Did he have the right to have a gun? Does the constitution not give him the right of self defense? 

Slane said he's glad no one was killed, but the guy who was shot is no victim.

"He's the one who caused this. Him and his buddies. Thugs. Four thugs jump you in a mall. Something wrong with that," he said. "What was the alternative? Was he just supposed to be beaten down? Beaten to death? What would have stopped them?"

Sanders is being held on a half million dollars bond. He has a hearing set for Tuesday, December 24 to have his bond reduced. 

Read Related: Penn Square Mall Shooting Suspect Surrenders, Police Say