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Deputies: Rural Rogers County Homeowner Shoots Attacker

Lori Fullbright, News on 6

A Rogers County homeowner said he was forced to shoot a man who was huffing paint on his property. The man said he never wanted to hurt the intruder, but he felt he didn't have a choice.

Frank is a retired Tulsa firefighter. He said, after the man charged him and was fighting him, despite several warnings, Frank realized he could die. His next thought was of his family and he knew he would have to pull the trigger. He and his wife say they are so glad the day didn't turn out differently.

Around 6:30 Monday morning, Frank heard hollering on the property across the road, where they're building a house.

He grabbed a gun and went to check.

"I met a guy up here. He was huffing paint, so I told him he better get out of here," Frank said. "He said, 'I own this property.' I said, 'I own this property.' He argued with me, and I showed him I was armed and he attacked me."

Frank says he hit the guy over the head a few times with the gun. When that didn't work, Frank fired a warning shot into the dirt, but the guy still didn't stop.

He said the man was tearing his shirt as they fought and Frank realized, if he went down, he'd be a goner.

"I had started backing away from him when all the other deterrents weren't working, getting distance, backing off, but he kept coming," Frank said. "That's when I decided this guy might overpower me and I can't allow that to happen. He'll shoot me right here. Then, thoughts of my family goes through my head, all my loved ones. At that point, I decided, 'I'm gonna have to shoot this guy.'"

Even then, Frank looked for a way that he could stop the attack, but did not want to kill the man.

"I lunged and he slipped and that leg stuck out there and gave me the opportunity to shoot him right in the leg," Frank said.

While waiting on deputies to arrive, Frank said 50-year-old John Gill actually thanked him a few times for shooting him.

Records show deputies had arrested Gill last month for huffing paint, and he fought with deputies then, too.

The sheriff said sometimes people give you no choice.

"In a deal like this, it's one or the other, and we're very thankful the homeowner wasn't hurt," said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

Gill is in a Tulsa hospital, expected to live. Deputies plan to arrest him when he's released.