MAYPEARL, Texas - A Texas sheriff said Thursday that he does not expect any charges will be filed against a man who opened fire on two heavily armed Oklahoma teenagers during an attempted home invasion on his ranch.
Kenneth Chaffin, 17, and Dillian King, 18 - both of Bethel Acres, Okla. - died Wednesday afternoon in Maypearl, Texas, authorities said. Their bodies have been sent for autopsies.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown said that officials think both teens died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, but said that the homeowner fired two deer rifles and struck one of the teens.
"I'm thoroughly convinced that had they not had a way to defend themselves, it would have turned out a different direction," Brown said.
Early Wednesday, Oklahoma sheriff's officials issued an alert for national law enforcement to be on the lookout for Chaffin, who they said ran away Monday from his home, which is about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The alert said he had stolen his parents' red 1991 Ford Ranger pickup truck, a stash of prescription medication, 17 guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
Pottawatomie County, Okla., Undersheriff J.T. Palmer said Thursday that Chaffin had a history of running away.
"We were taking a calculated risk of violating state law in putting (Chaffin's) name out," Palmer said. "We had to get mom and dad's written permission to even release his picture yesterday and we did that in a time frame as quick as we thought we could.
"You don't want to jump too quick. He's a runaway and he has a history of running away before."
On Wednesday afternoon, a homeowner in Maypearl - 35 miles south of Dallas and some 240 miles south of Bethel Acres - noticed someone was trying to open her back door. She looked out the window and saw an armed man in a camouflage vest. Brown said that the woman called her husband, who was elsewhere but returned home shortly thereafter.
As the two suspects fled toward a field, they fired at the home, which is located in the middle of a fenced-off ranch with donkeys grazing outside.
"The house is full of holes," Brown said.