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District attorney: Armed civilians who killed Lake Hefner shooter will not face charges

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two armed civilians who shot and killed a gunman at a popular restaurant will not be charged, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said on Monday.

Shortly before 6:30 p.m. on May 24, police were called to Louie’s On The Lake at Lake Hefner following a reported shooting.

In all, officials say there were four people who were injured as a result of the shooting. However, not all of them suffered gunshot wounds.

Family members say the suspect shot Natalie Will, and her daughter, 12-year-old Syniah Giles, as they were walking in front of the restaurant.

Natalie Will and her daughter Syniah Giles

Family members tell News 4 that Will was grazed by a bullet and did not require surgery. Syniah was shot near the tailbone area and she spent a couple of hours undergoing surgery.

Another man suffered an injury to his arm as he reportedly tried to run from the restaurant following the shooting.

Officials later determined another young girl, Alex Speegle,  was also hit by the gunfire.

Speegle suffered a shattered collarbone from a bullet and another one went into her right arm.

Alex Speegle

When officers arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting, authorities say they discovered the alleged shooter, 28-year-old Alexander Tilghman, dead outside of the restaurant.

Investigators say Tilghman was shot outside the restaurant by two armed civilians, identified as 35-year-old Juan Carlos Nazario and 39-year-old Bryan Whittle.

Bryan Whittle, Juan Nazario

They told the gunman several times to drop his weapon, and shot him when he refused.

Capt. Bo Mathews, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, emphasized that the civilians were not together and did not know each other before confronting Tilghman.

“I consider them as two people who stopped a very tragic situation from going any further,” Capt. Mathews said when asked if he would consider them heroes.

He says this case does not fall under a concealed carry situation since the men were not carrying weapons on them at the time of the shooting. Instead, their guns were inside their vehicles.

On Monday, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater released a statement, saying the men were justified when they shot and killed Tilghman.

“The two armed civilians commanded Tilghman to drop his pistol. Witnesses reported that the men gave multiple commands to Tilghman. Tilghman’s response was to raise his pistol, point it directly at the man west of him and fire multiple shots at him. Tilghman lowered his weapon and then raised it again and pointed it at the same man. Both of the armed civilians shot at Tilghman in an attempt to defend themselves and others against Tilghman’s deadly threat,” the statement read.

Prater says that he reviewed the investigation and determined that they “were justified and compliant with the law when they employed deadly force.”

The district attorney’s office says Prater praised the men for making life-saving decisions while under very stressful circumstances, adding that their actions likely saved lives.

The statement also noted that Whittle and Nazario had received significant firearms training and “employed tactics that lessened the potential that their use of deadly force would harm innocent bystanders.”