Johnny Mize Jr. faces first degree manslaughter in the heat of passion charges
Police say he jumped into the back of a truck during a theft
Gunfire in the theft left 15 year old Jake Ulrich dead
Mize is in custody
Jack Ulrich, the alleged robber, was arrested for a larceny complaint
The man police say shot and killed a teenager during a fireworks stand theft is in custody and facing manslaughter charges.
FOX23 began reporting on the Fourth of July when a fireworks stand theft turned deadly near 65th and Charles Page Boulevard.
Witnesses said Johnny Mize Jr., the son of the stand's owner, jumped into a truck driving away from the scene.
According to affadavit's, Mize Jr. pointed his gun at the alleged thieves in a ttempt to scare them off. He told officers he heard a pop that might have been a gunshot.
He began firing, and they ran off, trying to drive away.
Officers say Mize Jr. jumped into the bed of the Truck and continued to fire, killing 15-year-old Jake Ulrich. Family of Ulrich say he was not involved in the robbery and just wanted to buy fireworks.
Officers arrested Mize Jr. on Friday morning. The state charged him with first-degree manslaughter in the heat of passion.
The man accused of actually stealing from the stand, Jack Ulrich, was also arrested. He faces a complaint of larceny. The crime is a misdemeanor charge.
First Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless released this statement:
Today, the State of Oklahoma has charged Mr. Johnny Mize Jr. with Manslaughter in the First Degree which carries a range of punishment from 4 years to life in prison. He was charged under two different theories. The first theory is Manslaughter-Heat of Passion related to the anger associated with the fireworks theft as stated in the Affidavit. The second theory is the Unnecessary Prevention of a Property Crime related to the fireworks that were stolen.
Mr. Jack Ulrich was charged with Misdemeanor Theft of the fireworks. Previously, this crime would have been a felony, but with recent changes in the law, thefts of property with a value less than $1000.00 must be charged as misdemeanors. In this case, the value of the fireworks was $600.00, making this charge a misdemeanor.
Both parties are presumed innocent unless proven guilty by a judge or jury. The charges filed today are the first step in the pursuit of truth relating to the happenings at the fireworks stand. Following today’s filing, the next step in the process for these defendants will be Arraignment where they will be allowed to enter pleas to these charges.
The office of the District Attorney would like to thank the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office for a diligent investigation despite many factors that contributed to confusing, multiple scenes.