TULSA, Okla. -- Wednesday marks a year since gunfire erupted from a West Tulsa firework stand killing 15-year-old Jake Ulrich in the midst of a robbery.
Tulsa County Sheriff Deputies say two men were armed when they approached the firework stand. 32-year-old Johnny Mize Jr. fired his weapon after claiming the two robbers fired a shot first. The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office filed a first-degree manslaughter charge against Mize.
It's a new year but nothing looks the same at the Mize home. The memories of July 4th still flood the minds of the Mize family.
“It makes it difficult to walk around here," Johnny Mize said.
Johnny Mize senior says his son is still devastated from the shooting a year ago.
“My son returned fire.," he said. "Anybody sensible would if they have the means to do so. Why stand there and take a chance that you’re going to be dead.”
32-year-old Johnny Mize Jr. shot and killed 15-year-old Jake Ulrich. Tulsa County Sheriff Deputies say the teenager and his cousin robbed the families firework stand.
“No family deserves that," Mize said.
27-year-old Jack Ulrich is charged with larceny in connection to the theft.
Mize is working a lot of overtime to pay for his son's legal bills.
“He’s not the same as he was before this incident and he probably never will be," he said.
The firework stand brought the family an extra $3,000 a year. But this year, the stand isn't even assembled.
“I could not find people willing to work it," he said.
Mize says his son's life is on hold at the moment. Mize Jr. is due back in court in November and expected to go to trial in January.
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