Teen recovering in hospital after being shot after neighborhood prank goes wrong

Oklahoma Teen, 14, Shot By Homeowner While Playing ‘Ding-Dong Ditch’ Prank

An Oklahoma teen and his friends thought playing a neighborhood prank known as the “ding-dong ditch,” where a person rings a doorbell and runs before someone answers the door, was harmless until a homeowner shot him in the back and in the arm, reported the New York Daily News. At approximately 1:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Cole Peyton, 14, of Pryor, and two of his friends decided to play ding-dong ditch.

It was all laughter and fun until one of the neighbors, whose name has been withheld because he has not been arrested, on 1100 block of SE 15th Street stepped out onto his front yard and yelled “hey” just before firing several shots at the teens. The Pryor High School student, who is a football player and wrestler, was shot once in the back and in the arm. Peyton told his mother that when he realized he had been shot, he yelled to his two friends to run.

The other teens were able to escape unscathed, but Peyton had to be rushed to a Tulsa hospital, where doctors say the shot to his back punctured his liver before exiting his body. Fortunately, the Oklahoma teen survived the shooting and is currently in stable condition. Doctors say Peyton is expected to make a full recovery.

After learning about the ding-dong ditch shooting incident, Peyton’s coach told reporters that not only is he a “great kid to be around,” but he is an honor’s student at Pryor High School.

Many are claiming that the trio were just being kids, while other social media users say, “Who thought anything good would happen when you let your 14-year-old stay out until 1:30AM?”

According to the Washington Times, police officials believed the shooting to be the result of a home invasion until they were alerted that it was a prank gone terribly wrong. The homeowner believed the teens “were trying to break in” as they had rung his doorbell earlier that day and “so he fired shots at them” when they were walking past his home on their way to their home. However, it was later discovered that the three teens were having fun by playing the ding-dong ditch prank and had no intentions of breaking into anyone’s home on New Year’s Day.

The shooter has not been arrested, but Police Chief Steven W. Lemmings stated that the case has been turned over to the district attorney to uncover if the ding-dong ditch shooting was lawful or illegal.

Lemmings went on to say, “Currently, the investigation suggests that the juveniles were engaged in neighborhood pranks and not attempting to break into the residence.”

Although neighbor Samantha Perry didn’t witness the ding-dong ditch shooting, she said she saw the three Oklahoma teens earlier that day “walking down by the newer houses. It was kind of odd, but didn’t think anything of it.” When she learned that one of the teens were shot while playing ding-dong ditch, she said the incident shouldn’t have resulted in a shootout.

She added, “I mean, that’s just kids being kids right there, I don’t think there should’ve been anything like that involved.”

Oklahoma Stand Your Ground law states that “a person or an owner, manager or employee of a business is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another.”

Police officials are currently investigating the ding-dong ditch shooting to uncover if the three teens were on his property during the time of the shooting.

As mentioned, the teens were on their way home, not partaking in the ding-dong ditch prank, when the homeowner opened fire. Lemming stated that “that’s where the district attorney is going to have to decide whether the homeowner could use deadly force in that situation.”

This is a developing story.

[Photo by Getty Images/Scott Olsen]