A Tulsa man who was paralyzed by a security guard’s bullet at an apartment complex in February has died, family members confirmed Wednesday.
Zondra Magness, the mother of Monroe Bird III, posted her deceased son’s picture on her Facebook page early Wednesday and was receiving condolences from friends and relatives.
According to Bird’s stepfather, Johnny Magness, Bird was hospitalized Tuesday morning after a blood clot in his leg caused a pulmonary thromboembolism. The 21-year-old paralyzed man was taken to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment, where he later died.
Security guard Ricky Leroy Stone, 57, told Tulsa police that he shot Bird in the neck Feb. 4 at Deerfield Estates, 8812 S. Delaware Place, after Bird attempted to back a car into him.
“If he (Stone) hadn’t shot my son, I wouldn’t have to bury my son,” said Johnny Magness, who was heading to the funeral of his brother-in-law Wednesday in Oklahoma City. “He allowed himself to be used for evil. He knows he is guilty of evil.”
The Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office determined that Stone’s actions were justified.
Stone, however, was charged May 29 in Tulsa County District Court with a single count of drug possession after a police report showed that he admitted to having a small amount of marijuana in a backpack in his vehicle on the night of the shooting.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said there was no indication from any Tulsa police officers or medical personnel at the scene that Stone was under the influence of drugs or alcohol that night.
Stone was employed by Tulsa-based Smith and Son Security at the time of the shooting.
He was issued a summons on the drug complaint in McLean, Texas, on May 28, and has yet to be arrested on a $250 warrant, Tulsa County District Court records show.
Kunzweiler previously said he decided not to file a charge in the shooting because there was not sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction under Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
The district attorney reiterated Wednesday that charges against Stone are not expected to be pursued.
The case, as of now, will be revisited only if new evidence is presented, Kunzweiler said.
“I understand and empathize with the pain the family of Monroe Bird is experiencing,” Kunzweiler said.
“My decision to decline to file criminal charges in the shooting was based upon the evidence provided to me following an investigation of the Tulsa Police Department.
“The Tulsa Police Department did not request criminal charges against Monroe Bird,” said Kunzweiler, “and I did not find sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against him.”
Johnny Magness said he wants Stone to “have his day in court” for shooting Bird because his accounts of the incident have been inconsistent and that the physical evidence does not support Stone being forced to fire at Bird’s vehicle.
Bird’s family has retained Florida-based attorney Benjamin Crump and Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons to press the District Attorney’s Office to charge Stone in the shooting.
The attorneys called the shooting “reckless and a total disregard for the lives and safety” of Bird and a girl in the car with him.
According to a lawsuit filed May 18, Stone approached Bird and a teenage girl as they were sitting in Bird’s car and ordered them to exit before attempting to open the driver’s side door.
Bird then started the car with the intention of leaving the area, but Stone began banging on the trunk, threatening to shoot if they refused to exit, the lawsuit states.
“Because he could not drive forward without first backing away from the curb, in attempting to get away, Bird put the car in reverse and backed away several feet before going forward,” the lawsuit states.
It was then that Stone fired several shots at the fleeing vehicle, striking Bird, according to the lawsuit.
“It’s not right for him to just be charged with just drug possession,” Johnny Magness said. “There has to be more.”
In June, Bird was released from a Tulsa hospital after losing his health insurance coverage following the district attorney’s announcement that Stone would not be charged in the shooting.
Bird, who was paralyzed from the neck down, spent his last days receiving care at his parents’ home in Boley.
“Monroe said he didn’t want to live like this,” Johnny Magness said.
Simmons said he was saddened to learn of Bird’s death.
“In our mission to get justice for Monroe, he and his family have become much more than clients,” he said.
“I don’t truly know the deep pain they are feeling in this extremely difficult time, but this tragic loss means myself and our team of attorneys will continue to fight strong and hard for the justice Monroe.
“In an effort to help ease that painful void, we will work tirelessly to try and bring justice for Monroe and the Bird family.”
A funeral for Bird will be held at 10 a.m. July 8 at Mount Calvary Miracle Temple in Okmulgee.
Kendrick Marshall 918-581-8386