Texas Man Claims Self-Defense After Killing Teen For Setting Off Fireworks
Jason Roche has been charged with murder after fatally shooting Devonte Ortiz.
A Texas man has claimed self-defense in the murder of a black teen who was setting off fireworks in the early hours on the Fourth of July.
Jason Roche, 41, told Austin police officers he had gone up to Devonte Ortiz, 19, numerous times and asked him to stop setting off fireworks in the Pleasant Hill Apartments complex. Roche said he shot Ortiz in the torso in self-defense after claiming the teen removed a firearm from a vehicle before the shooting took place, according to KXAN. Roche said Ortiz had placed the firearm on the ground but lunged toward it during the altercation. However, two witnesses showed police cellphone footage of the altercation which contradicts the statement Roche gave them.
The footage shows Roche displaying a firearm at Ortiz, re-holstering the firearm then displaying the firearm multiple times. It also shows Roche following Ortiz around a car.
The video then shows Roche’s father intervening in the two’s argument, only for the father and Ortiz to start shoving one another. Roche’s father ends up on the ground, leading to the 41-year-old shooting Ortiz.
According to an affidavit, police believe Ortiz was moving away from the firearm and not lunging toward it like Roche had told detectives.
Roche’s bail has been set at $250,000 and faces a first-degree felony. A GoFundMe has been made for Ortiz’s funeral.