East Tulsa homeowner shoots man outside home, tells police he thought man was reaching for weapon

TULSA - Tulsa police are investigating a shooting outside an east Tulsa residence early Wednesday morning.

Police say a homeowner, John Becker, fired a shotgun at a man outside the home near 31st Street and South 108th East Avenue.

Becker says he heard a noise some time before 5 a.m. and when he looked outside he saw a black male breaking into his vehicle.

"My dog started to bark, so I got up to look outside my window," Becker said.

Police say the Becker retrieved his gun and confronted the man outside. 

"I told him to get out of my vehicle," he said. "He took a step towards me, and I told him to 'back up, before I shoot you.'"

A verbal altercation ensued and when the suspect pulled a knife from his pocket police say the homeowner fired, hitting the man in the lower leg.

"He turned his body sideways and put his hands in his pocket and then turned around again. When he turned around, that's when I shot him," he said.

Becker says he didn't want to have to pull the trigger on his shotgun, but he says he felt his life was in danger.

"I lowered my gun to injure him. I didn't want to kill him. I lowered my gun and shot him in the leg to stop the threat because I didn't know what he was going to come at me with."

Police say the man would not cooperate at the scene and refused to give officers his name or any other information. They say items from the homeowner's vehicle were found with the suspect.

The man was hospitalized with an injury not thought to be life threatening.

Police say a neighbor's car was broken into several days ago, though they don't know if the two incidents are connected.

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