Man Says Shooting Was In Defense Of Family

Tuesday, April 15th 2008, 6:00 pm
By: News On 6

A Catoosa man says he was defending his family when he shot a father and son during an argument last month.  Charges could be coming by the end of the week in the case.

"I don't know what's going to happen.  I don't know," said gunshot victim Stephen Eaton.

Stephen Eaton admits a bad decision changed his life forever.

"My wrong doing was driving by to ask why they were attacking my family," said Stephen Eaton.

Eaton says he went to a house in Catoosa in the early morning hours of March 29th, because the teens who live there had been terrorizing his 17-year-old son.

Justin Wylie survived a car crash two weeks before the shootout.  His 18-year-old wife and two others died in the crash.  Eaton says he heard claims that the teens said his son should have died and they had plans to finish the job.

The same day Wylie had surgery to install a plate in his jaw; Stephen Eaton wanted to find out why the teens were harassing his son.

The first time he drove by the house, Eaton says, a woman began yelling obscenities.  That's when, he says, he made the wrong choice.

"I drove back, wrong mistake, everybody swarmed my car.  I was getting punched in my face. Then, I don't know who walked up and started shooting down.  They shot low," said Stephen Eaton.

Eaton says he then grabbed his gun and began firing.

"Didn't even know who shot me, who was hitting me.  It was dark. I just shot back and left," said Stephen Eaton.

Nearly 10 bullets later it was over.

Eaton was shot in the arm and lower back.  A 17-year-old boy at the house was hit in the arm and the boy's father was shot three times in the chest.

While is Eaton is home recovering, he says all he wants to know is why his son was being targeted by neighborhood kids.

No one answered the door on Tuesday at the house where the shooting happened.  Detectives say the other man who was shot has taken a turn for the worse. The 17 year old was released from the hospital the day of the shooting.

Justin Wylie is now out of a coma, but his father says, he will never fully recover.