An outbreak of violence following an NBA playoff game in downtown Oklahoma City has changed the way Oklahoma City Thunder fans will be able to watch home games. After the Thunder defeated the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night to head to the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, an altercation broke out between several people near the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The altercation resulted in eight people being shot, one critically, and a pregnant woman being kicked and trampled, suffering blunt force trauma. A man and a juvenile were arrested following the incident.
Police first arrested 19-year-old Rodney Dewon Hill of Warr Acres on a eight complaints of shooting with intent to kill in Oklahoma County. Hill's Oklahoma lawyer asserted that his client was not the shooter. The defense attorney told reporters that Hill was not the shooter, but he went to Thunder Alley with the shooter.
He says that the violence was not related to the game, but was a dispute between people who "knew each other from school and other things." A judge ordered Hill's release pending the investigation, but due to outstanding fines for municipal traffic offenses, he will remain in jail for a few days.
The juvenile, whose name was not release by authorities, has been identified in news reports as 16-year-old Aaron Myers of Oklahoma City. A court affidavit shows that a police investigator reported that Myers confessed to "shooting into the crowd." He is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on eight complaints of shooting with intent to kill.
Allegedly, the incident occurred a few blocks away from Thunder Alley, in nearby Bricktown, following a dispute between Hill, Myers, an unidentified man and woman with the two young men, and several of the shooting victims. Myers allegedly pulled a gun and begin firing into the crowd.
Monday night's violence led to questions of safety and crowd control related to Love's Thunder Alley, a pregame gathering spot that showed the game to fans outside the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Though Thunder Alley will continue to have pregame festivities, it will close at game time and will no longer broadcast the game.
Oklahoma City Thunder fans have a reputation for being among the most supportive fans in the NBA. However, the actions of one reckless individual have raised safety concerns for visitors to Bricktown, Thunder ticket holders, and fans at Thunder Alley. Oklahoma gun laws are generally considered "gun-friendly," with concealed carry allowed by permit. Recently, Governor Mary Fallin approve an open carry law that will take effect in November.
If you have been charged with violating Oklahoma gun laws, or if you have been charged with a violent crime in Oklahoma, call our criminal defense Oklahoma attorneys for help.