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By Johannes P.

Overlooked in the recent furore surrounding the events in Ferguson, Missouri is the shooting of Jeremey Lake by Shannon Kepler, which took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on August 7, 2014. Shannon Kepler is a 24-year veteran with the Tulsa Police Department, but he wasn’t on duty when the shooting took place. A week prior, he had evicted his 18-year-old daughter, Lisa—whom he had adopted at age 6—from their home, apparently in an effort to give her a “dose of reality” to “get her back on track.” This ‘tough love’ strategy of dropping Lisa off at the Tulsa Day Center for the homeless did not quite end up the way he and his wife hoped . . .

While at the shelter, Lisa met 19-year-old Jeremey Lake. The two hit it off and Lisa was subsequently invited to stay with Lake who was living at his Aunt’s house. A week later, Officer Kepler saddled up his black Chevy Suburban and went looking for his daughter (possibly being tipped off by a Facebook update as to her new relationship,) and found her walking down the street with her new beau.

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Since Officer Kepler decided to STFU afterward, we only have the word of the investigating police officers and his estranged daughter as to what happened. It doesn’t put him in a good light, as stated in an article in the International Business Times.

Lisa walked up to the vehicle when she saw that it was her father’s SUV, police told KWTV. She said he began yelling at her and then shot Lake as he walked up to introduce himself as her boyfriend. Lake was shot “two or three” times, an arrest report details. “I walked away and Jeremy tried to introduce himself, and my dad shot him,” Lisa told KJRH-TV.

Lisa Kepler added that she tried to keep her father from shooting Lake. But she says she was forced to run behind a bush in the home’s front yard when her father attempted to shoot her, too, as she tried to intervene…. [P]olice confirmed that “the suspect shot at the female but missed.”

Shannon also shot at Lake’s 13-year-old brother, who was sitting on the home’s front porch….

[Emphases added.]

Officer Kepler was charged with first-degree murder, to which he pleaded not guilty at the arraignment. In a statement to the press, his attorney, Richard O’Carroll, stated that Kepler had a “viable defense” for the shooting, although the particulars of this defense “would have to come out in court during the preliminary hearing.”

“There’s a defense — it’s a perfect defense,” O’Carroll said. “For the district attorney and the chief of police not to understand that, and to just get caught up in this frenzy and make political decisions instead of reasoned judgment, is abhorrent.”

O’Carroll also implicitly disparaged Lisa’s credibility, arguing that the state’s witnesses in this case were “not credible”.

Kepler wasn’t the only individual charged in this matter; his wife, Gina Kepler—coincidentally also an officer with the Tulsa Police Department—was charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact.

I’m the father of a daughter himself, and while she is (hopefully) many, many years from dating, I’ve lately been perusing shotguns like this one—only partly for my new interest sporting clays—and in evaluating this case, we must always remember that the Keplers are both innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Still, the facts so far available make this sound like an angry father and police officer who couldn’t handle the fact that he’d lost control of his daughter, and that would not make this a ‘good shoot’ by any stretch of the imagination.

While Lisa Kepler no doubt had troubles of her own given her estrangement from her adoptive father, and Jeremey Lake was not exactly on the fast-track to success, either (Lake is described in one news report as a “transient” who was “planning on turning his life around” by studying for the GED and enrolling in a local welding school,) the facts so far available do not paint Mr. and Mrs. Kepler in a favorable light.

The keen-eyed will note that so far this article has not mentioned the ethnicity of anyone involved. This was mainly because it isn’t immediately apparent that race played a direct role. Notwithstanding the fact that one writer has cast this as a case of a white man shooting a black teenager, Lake’s ethnicity appears to be, at least, mixed as his mother does not appear to be of African heritage (unless, perhaps, she traces her roots back to the European settlers in places such as the Transvaal, or Southern Rhodesia.) That said, it’s a sad truth that the caricature of a white father coming after a black man for committing the crime of dating his daughter is based in fact in many parts of this country. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out in the wake of the increased interest in topics such as police abuse of power and racism after recent events in Ferguson.

76 Responses to Shannon Kepler and the Homicide of Jeremey Lake

  1. Where’s the only police should have guns people now?
    Cops are normal people… They get less training and required range time than most handgun owners put in of their own volition. Treating them specially in the eyes of the law has never made sense and still doesn’t.

    • Boom. This. A veteran of multiple deployments that lives in California isn’t trusted by his state government to carry a .22LR pistol to the grocery store while a cop that was pulling over soccer moms and eating doughnuts while the vet was killing evil people on top of a miserable mountain gets all the tactical full-auto goodness his heart desires. What a crazy world we live in.

    • ” They get less training and required range time than most handgun owners put in of their own volition”
      Really?
      And you know this because you have visited every police department in the U.S., and every handgun owner?
      I’ll respect someone’s opinion, but when they just blurt out verbal diarrhea….

      • I know for a verifiable fact through the Chief of Police of my local 10,000 person town that they struggle for time at local ranges. Too few ranges…too many departments wanting time. The last five years running his officers have spent less time at the range on average per officer, SWAT included, than I have. I consider my range time about average, and this department about average as well.

        • I concur. 3 different times in my life, encompassing over 35 years, I have for whatever reason ended up on the firing line with local LEOs, each time I found them woefully incompetent, outshot every single one, twice with pistols and once with M-16s. The idea that LEOs are magically competent by virtue of being LEOs dates to the era when LEOs were the only ones authorized to carry anything which went “bang”. Nobody else has a gun? You da MAN!

        • Out of all the fucked up things reported about this incident, Officer Kepler’s bad shooting skills really don’t top my list. WTF? This isn’t a “training issue.” This is a murder.

      • I rather like the metaphor “verbal diarrhea,” but it seems that the operative verb should be other than “blurt,” which refers exclusively to an utterance and not, more generally, to any sort of expulsion.

      • Describing it as “most” handgun owners is probably a stretch, but the lack of time spent at the range is a serious problem at most police departments. I shoot about 1200 rounds a month, and I believe that is not enough. Most police officers shoot less than that in a year.

        • Hey, it’s your money and you can do what you want with it but 1200 rounds a month could pay the mortgage on a one million dollar home. And you say that is not enough. Here is an idea: anyone who shoots 1,000 or more rounds a month, cut that in half and donate the extra cash to a PAC or Pro 2A group. I am at 400 rounds per month and I am still improving my skills at that rate so that is good enough. Maybe you should alter your drills to get more gains with less time and ammo used.

        • 1200 rounds a month could pay the mortgage on a one million dollar home

          With 20% down ($800,000 loan), a 30-year fixed jumbo mortgage at 4% would cost $3,819.32 per month.

          $3,819.32 / 1200 rounds = $3.18 per round.

          That’s some expensive practice ammo!

        • C’mon, Don, it’s the age of Obama. Math doesn’t matter. (“Instead of having ‘answers’ on a math test, they should just call them ‘impressions,’ and if you got a different ‘impression,’ so what, can’t we all be brothers?” – Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy)

        • forgot the decimal point as in .9mm

          The funny (well, sad) part is the version of your post prior to your edit. According to the email notification I received, you initially wrote:

          I didn’t bother with that much math considering interest rates and what not. Just off the top of my head I came up with 30 cents per round = $3,600 per month. I think my guess is more accurate than your arithmetic.

          Then, apparently, you realized that $3600 for 1200 rounds at 30 cents per round sounds kind of weird, you actually performed the “arithmetic”, and you edited your post.

          The funny (read: sad) part is “I think my guess is more accurate than your arithmetic“. Yeah – the wrong (off by a factor of 10) guess is more accurate than the good (down to the penny) arithmetic.

      • http://www.forcescience.org/morrison.pdf

        Feel free to RTFA. You could have found this information in the time you spent haranguing someone for “blurt(ing) out verbal diarrhea”. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it’s not truth.

        You’re in the age of google, son. Try using it before you make yourself look stupid.

  2. Yeah, I am sure the kid’s parents are pissed Sharpton didn’t march/rally for him, but then again, Black women would be pissed since the kid was dating a White girl. .

    • No real need to generalize. A lot of Black women couldn’t give less than half a (Edit)
      if a black man is with a White woman. A lot of it is just stereotype, and depending upon where you live, urban vs rural.

      Experience: Black man married to a white woman withe black women family and friends who never had any issue with my wife, or my brothers wife, or my nephew’s girlfriends.

      • if you live on the West Coast, or the East Coast, yeah . . . everyone is kinda used to it. Roll in the Midwest and see how that flies with the Sistas.

        • Outside of the NYC area, I’m not sure folks are used to it in the East. Certainly not in the DC area, apart from a couple neighborhoods, and I doubt they are in Baltimore or Boston, either. I can’t say for certain about NC, SC, or GA.

  3. Never understood the whole “der my daughter never date I’ll kill her boyfriends without even knowing them” attitude.

    Regardless. Innocent until proven guilty.

    • I agree, I don’t understand it either. But I see a lot of it, especially at gun shows. I see DADD (Dads against daughters dating) T-shirts for sale a lot, and when I talk to the guy behind the table, he’s dead serious.

    • Today, the media believes more in being PC and political justice than the truth in reporting.

      They would be better off just laying out the truth regardless of anything else.

  4. What did the Dad think was going to happen? He was going to show her by dumping her at a homeless center, she showed him by dating someone he was going to hate. It’s too bad the poor kid was killed in the process.

    Also, to the author of the article. Don’t do the shotgun at the door routine with the boyfriend. When I was in high school, nothing made me more attractive to a girl than having her father hate me. I think you’d be better off waiting until your daughter brings home a nice guy and then forbidding her from ever seeing him again. Make friends with the punks, even call them “son” and see how long they stick around.

  5. First, “…as stated in an article in the International Business Times.”
    WTH does this story have to do with international business, may I ask?

    Second. “There’s a defense — it’s a perfect defense.”
    Sure, Jeremey Lake was an alien from Zontar trying to conquer Earth. Lisa was infected by him and was his slave. Like in all those black and white movies…

  6. The initial Brown\Wilson narrative- that a patrolling police officer decided to chase down and execute an unarmed man for nothing but jaywalking- made no sense whatsoever and anyone with a functional brain could tell it was BS.

    This narrative- that a father is losing it trying to stop his daughter from ending up in a dead end life- sadly makes more sense and I’m not as skeptical. We’ll see what comes out, though.

  7. Police do more drive boys than the gangsters…and they’re not even gangsters, just misguided youth running around like “street pranksters”….This is yet another sad reality of modern society…And of course the young man was said to be black. This is America where the “one drop rule” is STILL relevant. -Peace, love & unity (One day)

  8. Well at least that officer knew he was going home that night. Dan follow up and see how things turn out.

  9. In a hidden cave somewhere in the US:

    ~de-de-le-de-lah~

    Jesse Jackson: “Al, quick, there’s a kid we need to save… To the Sharpton-mobile!!”
    Al (running to the Sharpton-mobile, quickly coming to a stop):Oh nooooooo~ you don’t, Jesse! He’s not black enough to be important!… Good one! You almost had met there! “

  10. This isn’t a big story because it ISN’T. Just an out of control mom and dad and daughter. Sorry the kid got shot. The cop thing has little bearing .

    • I tend to agree. This is just some Jerry Springer shit that got a little too real. It’s a sad story, but dirtbags will be dirtbags.

      Now, as to the lead photo: is that kid wearing lipstick, or did he just really lay into the cherry Kool-Aid?

      • That was my very first thought when I opened this article. Then it hit me. I learned the taste of lipstick in 9th grade. Girlfriend applied it to me without using her hands.

        My next thought: Daughters get back at dads by posting photos on facebook of they guys they are in a relationship with. Apparently, some dad’s don’t get angry, they get even.

        (yes, I know I ended a sentence with a preposition. Yes, I didn’t capitalize my first yes.)

  11. Hey, why isn’t this under your “Should’ve been a DGU”??

    The govt terrorist, was/is a 1st degree murderer. Why shouldn’t have his daughter be allowed to defend herself, regardless of her age? Seems teen girls are particularly targeted group, regardless.

    • My old man is more the verbally-abusive variety of asshole, but I’m going to be honest and say if he pulled up on the street and shot one of my friends unprovoked, I seriously doubt I’d have the wherewithall to pull my weapon in time to stop him.

      • What’s saying your friend wouldn’t pull out their weapon???

        Maybe you wouldn’t have been able to shoot, but that doesn’t go for everyone else – your father is not everyone’s father.

        • It’s a hypothetical, genius; you might as well just stomp on him with the goddamn dinosaur you’re also riding in that scenario.

          As much as you guys love to talk a big, tough game about what you would have done in this or that situation, the fact stands that nobody is omnipotent or omniscient and no matter how much some idiot mall ninjas think they actually are, it’s entirely possible for someone to get the drop on them anyway.

          So then if you’re a somewhat dim 19-year-old kid, an acquaintance’s father pulling up next to you on the street is most likely going to lower your guard, and in the half-second it takes the guy to raise his gun and shoot your ass, your mind is not going to be able to go from “Hey, I’ve been wanting to meet this guy,” to “Holy shit, return fire!!” quickly enough.

        • Yes, well, what isn’t saying that, “hypothetically,” your friend has a gun, as I already mentioned, genius? If that person doesn’t have time to respond, then you wouldn’t have time to respond to stop it either – whether you have what it takes or not. And you would not be more aware of your father wanting to shoot them than they are – what do you think, your father is going to whisper to you “careful now, I’m going to shoot your friend!” ??
          If I were meeting someone for the first time, I would not “drop my guard” because they are that person’s parent, since I don’t know them. I especially wouldn’t drop my guard around the father of my girlfriend (who I’ve never met), because I haven’t met them and I’m not sure how they might respond to meeting me for the first time. They may be completely friendly, or they may be angry and hostile. “Dropping my guard” is something I definitely am not going to do around them, “genius.”

  12. “There’s a defense — it’s a perfect defense,” O’Carroll said. “For the district attorney and the chief of police not to understand that, and to just get caught up in this frenzy and make political decisions instead of reasoned judgment, is abhorrent.”

    Wow. After being accused of shooting at Jeremy, that girl, and that guys brother out of anger, it better be a damn good defense! Something along the lines of: “I’m God.”

    Well, I guess we’ll see if she was lying or not after all the evidence and testimony is reviewed in court. I don’t see what reason he would really have to shoot at all 3 of them besides going crazy (Literally). Yes, it is a possibility he turned violently crazy, but Lisa Kepler was also probably pissed at her father for kicking her out, and definitely pissed at the person who shot her “savior” – so, after watching the video of her, I could see that it may have been possible for her to say those things out of blinded love/devotion, and she simply may have wanted him to burn – However, that’s not saying that she was lying.

  13. There’s a lot of inarticulate id bloviating through this thread. I think some posters here should do less derping for validation.

  14. Holy pigeon shooter, dood. That 686 is a pretty thing, but jeeze! $2500 shotguns hang on the wall, under UV filtering glass, in my house. The only time they throw lead is at wedding receptions, using champagne filled flutes as targets on the rail behind the racehorse stables at our Tennessee estate. For realsies.

    They aren’t for shooting salt pellets at the idiot drooling after my daughter. I have a $200 gun that will do that just fine. *wink*

  15. Why would this have the same outcry as Ferguson, when the officer was charged and a trial will happen to determine his guilt or innocence?

    You don’t have to try to put down the legitimately critique of police militarism and environment of no accountability to raise other issues of police misconduct.

  16. why do we argue with police? Why is this even an issue.
    The policeman, even off duty, is god’s man. Even if he is a psycho, it’s god’s man!

    He made a shoot. Let him go. He’s innocent. Let God judge him when he dies.
    He did the best he could. Maybe the kid looked like he had a little black in him. Who wouldn’t be afraid of that for his daughter. It’s understandable. There’s no issue here. nothing worth writing about like this. Heck. The kid probably tried to hit him and he was defending himself. Case closed. Good shoot.

  17. The defense is doing what little it can with a case it can’t win based on just facts.
    And if the bad cop did toss rounds at the 13 year old sitting on a porch those rounds
    can be found supporting the case against the killer cop. Sounds like another case of
    “contempt of cop” and the cop lost his cool while NOT in uniform. THAT was his
    mistake. They can get away with Murder 1 while on the job but it’s a bit harder to pull
    off in street clothes and your own vehicle.

  18. Kepler said it was self-defense, and that Lake pulled a gun on him. Although no gun was found at the scene, after the daughter was interviewed at the police station a janitor found a gun in the wastebasket of the interview room. This potentially exonerating evidence was withheld from the jury by the trial judge, Sharon Holmes.

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