Police say a southwest Oklahoma City liquor store owner shot by police Sunday night overstepped his boundaries. Officers shot 50-year-old Brett Alan Cude as he shot at two accused robbers who had just been inside his store.
Police admit this is a very unusual case, and now some question whether the liquor store owner went too far to defend his property.
"Heard the gunshots go off, and they just came around the corner shooting," said witness Jeremy Fitch. "They didn't ask no questions."
Fitch says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He saw everything unfold right in front of him.
"When I came around the corner, I saw the suspects leave the parking lot and the store owner shooting at them, and then the cops shooting at the store owner," said Fitch.
Fitch says Cude was just steps from the front door of his business shooting at two men who allegedly robbed him at gunpoint. Those two men have been identified as 17-year-old Broderick Ransom and 32-year-old Tuscon Redd Jr.
Officers shot at Cude after police say he refused to listen to their commands.
"Never did I hear them say, freeze, hold up, nothing and I was close enough to hear that," said Fitch. "The store owner is laying on the ground, you know, got holes all in him."
"These are the kinds of cases that juries grapple with every day because they've got to try to decide did he become the aggressor himself," said Oklahoma City attorney David Slane. "Did he commit a crime by going too far?"
Slane says typically the DA's office tries to give leeway to property, home, and business owners. He says Oklahoma's "Make My Day" law is going to go a long way to try to respect the store owner's rights of self-defense.
"In a situation like this, he may have had the adrenaline flowing, and he may have just gone too far," said Slane.
"It traumatized me, man," said Fitch. "I was like, 'what the?'"
Cude and suspect Tuscon Redd remain in the hospital. Cude's condition has been upgraded to stable. Redd is listed in critical condition. Both were shot multiple times.
The second suspect Broderick Ransom is in jail.
Sgt. Cody Koelsch, a seven-year veteran, and Officer Bradley May are on paid administrative leave while police investigate exactly what happened.