An Oklahoma father is accused of murder in the fatal shooting of his teenage son last weekend, PEOPLE confirms. Authorities and the man’s family said he mistook the boy for someone who was stealing the family’s truck.
On Saturday, Delaware County deputies responded to the shooting about 1:45 a.m. Upon arrival at the scene, they discovered 13-year-old Kyle Rutherford dead from a gunshot wound outside a grey pickup truck with his mother and father attempting to perform CPR on him, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
Kyle’s mom, who called 911, told police her husband, 47-year-old Tony Rutherford, thought he was shooting a thief at the time their son was killed, the affidavit states.
Rutherford had allegedly pursued the truck while firing on it, not knowing his son was driving, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said, according to the Tulsa World.
A subsequent investigation by the OSBI led to Rutherford’s arrest for first-degree murder.
Neighbors told authorities that before the shooting, Rutherford came to check on a vacant home owned by another of his sons after multiple vehicles were seen outside the residence, which raised Rutherford’s suspicions, according to the World.
When Rutherford arrived, he saw someone driving his son’s pickup, the World reports. The affidavit states he did not know his 13-year-old son was behind the wheel.
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After the shooting, Rutherford declined to speak with investigators and requested a lawyer.
According to the World, defense attorney Winston Connor II, said: “Tony and his family are very sorry by the loss of their child and time will reveal the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident which does not constitute a crime.”
Prosecutor Kenny Wright disagreed, according to the Grove Sun, arguing that Rutherford “intended to kill whoever was driving the truck.
“That it turned out to be his son, is just tragic,” Wright said. “But it doesn’t make it any less of a crime.”
It is unclear if Rutherford has entered a plea. His attorney has been unavailable to comment to PEOPLE.
An obituary for Kyle described him as a chatty, outgoing teen who “dearly loved his family, the farm, and the freedom of the outdoors.”
“But most of all, Kyle loved to talk, tease, joke, prank, and share stories with the ones he loved,” the obituary continued. “Heaven will definitely need to pass out earplugs now, because his contagious laughter will be heard throughout.”