A man is dead after an attempted armed robbery turned into a shooting on Monday.
Oklahoma City police officials said they have seen an uptick in homicides in the city this summer. The latest investigation started Monday night outside the Harkin’s Theatre in Bricktown.
Police said 22-year-old Travis Prince attempted to rob a couple at gunpoint outside the theatre, but it turned deadly when one of the robbery victims pulled a gun on Prince.
“Downtown is supposed to be a place where people can come down, relax,” said Bertoldo Berruete, an Oklahoma City resident. “Enjoy themselves and have a fun time.”
However, visitors at Harkin's Theatre walked out of the movies Monday night and into a real-life crime scene.
“When we saw the tape,” said Mary Jane Gonzalez, an Oklahoma City resident. “We thought, what happened?”
Police said Bricktown officers were called to a shooting just before 10 p.m. outside the theatre.
“It appeared there was a couple walking near the theatre when they were approached by a man who was armed with a gun,” said Master Sgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department.
The couple told investigators, Prince pulled a gun on them and demanded their belongings. Police said Christopher Cooper, 36, turned the table on the would-be robber.
“That’s when he was shot and killed right outside the Harkins Theatre,” said Knight.
Movie-goers reacted to the shooting in shock.
“Now that we know, it’s kind of crazy to think anything can happen,” said Berruete.
A viewer sent News 9 video from their apartment balcony of a gun and shoes on the sidewalk near the theatre. Police said Prince died at the scene and Cooper and the person he was with stayed.
“They were interviewed by homicide detectives shortly after the case,” said Knight. “Because even though this appears on the surface to be a case of self-defense, it’s still a homicide.”
Knight said it will be up to the Oklahoma County district attorney to determine if the deadly shooting was justified.
“If your life is in immanent peril,” said Knight. “You have the right to defend yourself up to and including using deadly force.”
Homicide investigators still have the case and will turn it over to the district attorney's office soon.