A man paralyzed after a security guard shot him at a south Tulsa apartment complex was released after spending four months in the hospital, but the family doesn't think it's fair.
Monroe Bird III and his family said because the district attorney decided not to charge the security guard their insurance won't cover the medical bills. They said they had no choice but to bring him home.
It was a very emotional day at Select Specialty Hospital as the staff said goodbye to Bird III. The 21-year-old, called Trey by family, watched, unable to help, as a lift was used to help get him into a wheelchair.
"I want to walk. I don't want to be paralyzed the rest of my life," Bird III said. "I feel a little down. I should be going to rehab instead of going home."
As he left the hospital, a ventilator - which breathes for him - was close behind.
"I'm upset every day. That's my son,” Monroe Bird Jr. said.
Security guard Ricky Stone shot Bird III at the Deerfield Estates Apartments in February. Police reports say Stone saw Bird and a young girl in the back seat of a car.
Stone told police he tried to open the car door and ask Bird for an ID, which he refused. Then, Stone claimed Bird tried to back over him.
Stone then fired three shots, one of which landed in Bird III's spine.
"I wasn't doing anything wrong and it has changed my life completely," he said.
The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office charged Stone with possession of drugs - police reports state a vile of marijuana was found in Stone's truck the night of the shooting. Stone, however, isn't facing any criminal charges linked to the shooting.
"The DA has chosen to not pursue any charges against him until now, and that's causing the insurance company to deny my son's benefits," Bird Jr. said.
The family has no choice but to bring him home.
"I've never been through this before. You have to go to a professional who knows something about this, and it's been taken away from us as a family,” Bird Jr. said.
Bird III said, "I shouldn't be going home, I should be going to rehab to help better my life."
The family said they'll try to rehabilitate Bird III as best as they can and continue to fight and hope justice can be served.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said the security guard was justified in the shooting, according to the state's self-defense laws.
Kunzweiler says, "Regrettably, many of the actions of Mr. Bird ultimately contributed to Mr. Stone's decision to defend himself.”
"Evidence at the scene was consistent that Mr. Bird backed his vehicle into Mr. Stone," he said.