Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tulsa Shooting Spree Suspects Arrested

Recent shootings terrorized Tulsa's black community and left three people dead and two others critically wounded. After police received an anonymous tip, they arrested two men at a home just north of Tulsa about 2 a.m. Sunday. The men are expected to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill in the wake of shootings early Friday.

While police identified the men as white and all the victims are black, authorities have not described the shootings as racially motivated and declined to discuss that issue Sunday. The shootings happened about the same time within a few miles (kilometers) of each other, and all five victims were out walking when they were shot. Four of the victims were found in yards, and one in the street.
Police have said they don't believe the victims knew one another. They identified those killed as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31. They declined to name those who survived.

The men in custody were identified as Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32.

"There obviously still is a lot of investigation" ahead, police spokesman Jason Willingham said Sunday. "We don't have a motive at this time. We are still asking questions and hopefully that will become clear in coming days."

In a Thursday update on Facebook that appeared to have been written by Mr. England, he angrily blamed his father’s death on a black man and used a racial slur. He said Thursday was the second anniversary of his father’s death.

“It’s hard not to go off,” given the anniversary and the death of his fiancée earlier this year, he wrote.
A family friend, Susan Sevenstar, told The Associated Press that Mr. England’s fiancée killed herself in January.

“It’s apparent from the posting on the Facebook page that he had an axe to grind, and that was possibly part of the motive,” Mr. Willingham, the Tulsa police spokesman, said. “If you read the Facebook post and see what he’s accused of doing, you can see there’s a link between the two of them.”

The Facebook page had been taken down by Sunday afternoon.

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