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Son of fireworks stand owner charged in death of suspected thief

TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma man has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a 15-year-old boy who was shot after an attempted theft at a Tulsa fireworks stand.

Authorities say 15-year-old Jake Ulrich was shot after he and his adult cousin allegedly tried to steal fireworks from the stand on Independence Day.

Investigators say 32-year-old Johnny Mize Jr., whose father owns the fireworks stand, exchanged gunfire with the alleged suspects.

Deputies say Mize jumped into the bed of the suspects’ pickup truck while he father got into his car and followed the suspects.

Ulrich was later found dead inside the truck, and police records show Mize told detectives that he couldn’t remember what happened after shooting one of the rear tires.

The Ulrich family’s attorney, Nathan Milner, says there was a lack of evidence that Mize feared for his life when he shot the teenager.

On Friday, court records show that charges were filed against Mize for one count of first-degree manslaughter.

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office says Mize was arrested Friday morning, and bond was set at $50,000. Court records do not indicate whether Mize is represented by an attorney.