The Oklahoma man who shot and killed his neighbor, who was in the act of drowning his infant twins, will not be charged in the incident, as authorities have concluded the shooting was justified and saved the lives of a family in danger.
Cash Freeman had just returned home from lunch when a 12-year-old girl came running over from next door pleading for help, saying Leland Foster was trying to kill the babies and hurt their mother early last month, authorities said.
Freeman ran into the home and into the bathroom, where he found Foster trying to drown his 3-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, in the bathtub. The father also had a knife, which he was using to threaten the children’s mother, his estranged wife, officials said.
Freeman fired twice, shooting Foster, 27, in the back two times. He said he fired a third shot to make sure Foster was no longer a threat, authorities said.
“Mr. Freeman reported that even after firing two shots, he still considered the decedent to be a threat observing him to [be] armed with the knife... viewing the decedent’s evil intent expressed in his facial expression, he felt compelled to fire the third shot to attempt to get past this violent man to render aid and prevent the man from getting back up to harm anyone anymore,” the Pontotoc County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement obtained by KFOR-TV.
The shooting was determined to be a “justifiable use of deadly force under Oklahoma Law,” and as a result, no charges will be filed against Freeman.
Justifiable homicide is defined as “the lawful defense of such person or of another, when the person using force reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.”
Foster had a history of domestic violence, having pleaded no contest in 2011 to domestic abuse by strangulation and arson in the first degree.
The mother of the twins told police that she was glad Freeman stepped in and that if he hadn't, “they would have all been dead… Leland was going to drown the babies and the knife was meant for her.”
The babies were flown to an Oklahoma City hospital and have since been released in good health.