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Man who shot neighbor for attempting to drown children will not face charges

An Oklahoma man will not face charges after he shot — and killed — his neighbor in the back three times in order to prevent him from drowning two children in the bathtub. (Image source: KFOR report screenshot)

On Thursday, the Pontotoc County District Attorney in Oklahoma decided that a man who shot his neighbor to prevent him from drowning two young children will not face charges. The man is being hailed as a hero by his friends and neighbors, according to KFOR-TV.

On June 2, David Cash Freeman, a resident of Ada, Oklahoma, was at home when an unknown 12-year-old girl rushed into his house and begged for help. The girl was reportedly in the house when Leland Foster, Freeman's neighbor, began threatening the mother of the children with a knife.

Freeman, who was armed, rushed over to the neighbor's home to find Foster attempting to drown 3-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, in the bathtub, according to KFOR. Freeman shot Foster three times in the back with his gun, killing him.

Police questioned and released Freeman, but the district attorney began an investigation. On Thursday, the district attorney declared that the killing was a "justifiable use of deadly force under Oklahoma Law."

Under Oklahoma statutes, the justifiable use of deadly force falls under “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.”

The district attorney's office released a statement about their decision, calling Freeman's use of deadly force under the circumstances reasonable:

“Certainly, from the circumstances confronted that day by Mr. Freeman, who had just come home from lunch, being encountered by a terribly distraught 12 year old complaining that this individual was trying to drown the babies and hurting their mother while armed with a knife, and upon entering the home, encountering the hysterical screams of the mother of the babies being held in the bathroom against her will and desperately trying to save her babies from drowning now being unable to [breathe],  one might get the sense that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent or stop this horrible crime from going any further. Mr. Freeman reported that even after firing two (2) shots, he still considered the decedent to be a threat observing him to [be] armed with the knife and responding to the cries of the mother to help her because she felt the children were going to die, and viewing the decendent’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.”

KFOR reports that many Ada residents are already hailing Freeman as a hero for shooting Foster.

“They better not file charges on that guy,” said Ada resident Kathy Hart in June. “Because, he protected two innocent babies that couldn’t protect themselves. How can he be guilty of anything? He’s a hero. He should not be in trouble.”

"Even though a life was lost and that's tragic in any case, in this case, two lives were saved that were innocent," James Williams said. "He would be a hero in my book."

“I think he did the right thing because who knows what would happen, because who knows what would have happened to the babies if he hadn’t intervened. They might not have made it,” said Freeman's neighbor Summer Pierce.

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