Man Who Shot Teenage Prankster In Pryor Charged With Felony

Wednesday, January 6th 2016, 4:45 pm
By: News On 6

A man who shot a teenage prankster New Years Day has been arrested on a felony charge.

Law enforcement officers arrested Derek Morgan, 30, Wednesday afternoon.

He's charged with a felony count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

1/1/2016: Related Story: Pryor Teen Shot While 'Ding Dong Ditching' In Neighborhood

Pryor Police said Morgan shot Cole Peyton, 14, three times at about 1 a.m. on the morning of January 1, 2016.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, Derek Morgan lives in Tulsa but was staying with his parents because they had stayed up late watching football. The documents say Morgan was in the garage of his parents' house in the early morning hours of New Years Day when he heard trash cans being moved outside.

Read the documents.

Morgan told investigators he went inside and woke his father to tell him he thought someone was trying to break into the house. He told investigators he then got his .45 caliber pistol and went with his father to the garage-side of the house. 

When they didn't see anything, he walked around to the back side of the house, the documents say. He told investigators that when he saw three people in the backyard he shouted at them to put their hands up and not move. According to the documents, he said one of the people made a motion behind his back as if he was reaching for a weapon, so he fired a couple of shots in that direction.

He told investigators two of the people ran to his left and one ran to his right, the documents say. He told them the person who made the "threatening" motion was one of the people who ran to his left, according to the report. He told them he continued shooting at the person on his right, striking him, the documents say.

He told detectives he did not believe the individual he shot was the same person who made the "threatening" motion and that the person he shot was moving away from him at the time, according to the documents. The documents say Morgan told investigators he thought all three people were threats because he saw one of them reach behind his back.

The documents say Morgan told detectives that he made the 911 call to report the incident and he told them throughout the interview he was the one who fired the shots.

According to the documents Peyton told detectives he and two friends were out in the early morning hours of January 1 and had knocked on some doors to try to wake people up as a prank. He told them he and his friends had knocked on the front door of the Morgan house but didn't get an answer, so they went into the unfenced backyard to knock on a back window when a man appeared from the side of the house, yelled at them, then started shooting, the documents say. 

Peyton told detectives he ran away and was running in the street when he was shot in the back and fell, according to the documents. The documents say Peyton also called 911.

The documents say Peyton was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the arm, but is recovering.

Detectives said evidence they collected at the scene indicates to them Peyton was in the middle of the street running away when he was shot, the documents say.

District Attorney Matt Ballard released the following statement about the case:

“The serious charge brought in this case reflects the egregious actions of Mr. Morgan. While I fully support responsible gun ownership and the right of people to defend their person and their home; that’s not what happened in this case.  The victim was 85 feet away from the house in the middle of a public street when he was shot while fleeing.  The victim remains in the hospital, now, recovering from his injuries.”