A Shawnee man was shot and killed by a homeowner late Wednesday night at a rural home on Old Highway 270 near Shawnee. The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case as a homicide, but no arrests have been made. It will be up to the district attorney’s office to review the case and determine if charges are warranted or if the shooting falls under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law.
Sheriff Mike Booth said the shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. He responded to the home, joining several deputies as authorities worked the crime scene most of the night.
Isaiah Reuben Poncho, 32, died at the scene; Booth said he suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest.
The shooting remains under investigation, but Booth said it appears Poncho went to the residence and knocked on the front door. When the homeowner answered, Poncho reportedly stepped inside the home, Booth said, and there was a slight altercation between the two men, who reportedly knew each other.
“The homeowner had a pistol with him,” Booth said, “and shot Mr. Poncho one time in the chest.”
Poncho fell back onto the porch and the homeowner called 911, Booth said. REACT EMS paramedics and Shawnee firefighters responded to the home, but Poncho was already deceased.
A woman who was traveling in a car with Poncho made allegations about being kidnapped, Booth said, so that information became part of the shooting investigation.
Officials working the scene conducted interviews most of the night. The woman’s story and that of the homeowner, along with the homeowner’s guest matched, Booth said, and deputies followed evidence and worked the crime scene in efforts to corroborate what happened.
“We’ll spend time and as many man hours and as needed to gather information and evidence to give to the DA’s office,” Booth said. “We’re being extremely careful to follow the evidence — we don’t want to speculate.”
There’s still many unanswered questions, such as why Poncho went to the home, Booth said.
The homeowner, whose name was not being released, has not been arrested. As part of the investigation, deputies did get search warrants for the home. Booth said the homeowner was cooperative throughout the investigation and deputies did seize some drugs, cash and guns from the home.
Booth said his office will complete their investigation and all case reports will be turned over to the District Attorney’s office.
District Attorney Richard Smothermon will have to determine if this incident falls under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which gives citizens the right to use deadly force to protect themselves while inside their own homes.
“Any time one human kills another it is considered a homicide,” Booth said. This case is considered a homicide, the sheriff said, but “whether it was justifiable or not is the question.”
Watch for more details on this investigation as they become available.