OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City teenager accused of opening fire into a crowd of people in Bricktown is convicted of the crime.
The violent shooting erupted following a Thunder playoff game in May 2012.
This week the accused trigger man Avery Meyers pleaded guilty to the shooting.
The teenage suspect pleaded guilty to 8 counts of shooting with intent to kill and assault with a deadly weapon.
His plea deal will send him to prison for 25 years, with another 10 years probation.
The violent confrontation in Bricktown erupted over a stolen cell phone.
Multiple witnesses identified a then 16-year-old Meyers as the trigger man.
One of the victims, Norman Richards, nearly died from his injuries.
Even after his recovery he had little recollection of the shooting.
“My friend told me to get out of the street, and I was like I’ve been shot,” recalled Richards. “I don’t remember anything after that.”
“If you’re shooting into a crowd of people, you’re going to get what’s coming to you,” said attorney David McKenzie.
McKenzie says while Meyers claimed he acted in self-defense, that would have been a tough argument to make in court.
“It would be a difficult case to win for the defense side,” said McKenzie. “You start claiming self-defense and you’re shooting at innocent people, you’re liable for your actions.”
The shooting followed the Thunder defeating the Lakers in the 2012 playoffs and put an end to the huge watch parties outside the Chesapeake Arena.
That’s why Meyers guilty plea may send an important message to the community.
“We have to set an example as society that we’re not gonna do these things or you’re going to be punished for it,” said McKenzie. “This man is going to be punished and spend 20 something years in a state penitentiary.”
Prosecutors wouldn’t talk about the case today, but they did say the deal had the approval of Richards’ family.