A teen was shot and killed by a gun-loving Oklahoma pastor after illegally entering the man’s home in an attempted robbery. Several signs on the pastor’s property warn, “Nothing on this property is worth your life” but the 14-year-old did not heed the warnings. Instead he entered at his own risk through an air conditioning unit space.
Reportedly, Pastor Tom Vineyard was out shopping for Christmas when he was alerted by his alarm company that a motion detector had been activated at his Oklahoma City home. The 48-year-old man returned home to find the teen hiding in a bedroom closet. Allegedly Vineyard, a concealed-carry permit holder and lover of guns, was attacked by the teen and became involved in a physical altercation with him. During the fight the Windsor Hill Baptist Church leader shot and killed Reese.
The pastor, who has a controversial reputation for his strong support of gun rights and politics, has offered gun training to his church members and their children. According to David Prater, district attorney for Oklahoma County, the shooting was as legitimate as it could be. Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow of the Oklahoma City Police Department stated:
If this man is in his own residence with his family and feels threatened, feels his family’s lives or his own life is in danger, he does have the right to defend himself.
Vineyard is a political activist, a missionary and the son of a pastor. His church is located near NW23rd and MacArthur in Oklahoma City. Windsor Hills Baptist Church is no stranger to controversy. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) identifies hate groups operating in all states in America and it was no surprise to many locals to learn the small independent church made the list.
According to the SPLC, there are 20 hate groups in operation in Oklahoma including racist skinheads, Neo-Nazis, branches of the KKK and black separatists. Vineyard and his church made the list after spewing negative statements before Oklahoma City’s city council about gays. SPLC’s Mark Potok said:
We have a whole staff of people who are constantly monitoring the websites; the underground publications even the short-wave radio broadcast and videos that people on the fringes of our society make, political people.
The pastor made several outrageous statements about the homosexual community. The claims were not only erroneous but hurtful. Vineyard’s attacks included accusations such as: homosexuals are to be blamed for half of the murders which take place in large cities, over 50 percent are infected with intestinal parasites, they are the reason for the unbalanced number of cases involving hepatitis and that over 33 percent of all reported child molestation cases are committed by homosexuals in the United States.
The SPLC does not label anti-gay groups as hate groups outside of extenuating circumstances and Vineyard met the threshold by making statements which are proven false. According to Potok, the statements made against the homosexual community are untrue and have the effect of demonizing an entire group of human beings. The Pastor said he stands by his comments, “…as a pastor I must take a stand for what is morally right.”
Although Pastor Tom Vineyard is often found in the hot seat of controversy, many agree that his actions against the teen were merited. The 14-year-old broke into his home in an attempted robbery but was caught in the act. After an alleged altercation, the teen was shot and killed. Pastor Tom Vineyard has been cleared of any wrongdoing for the murder of Keontre Reese on his property.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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