“Whatever Happen! To COMMON SENSE.”
Two men have been arrested in connection with Friday’s shooting spree in Tulsa, Okla., that left three pedestrians dead and two in critical condition, police said of the possible hate crime.
Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were arrested at a house north of Tulsa around 2 a.m. this morning and are expected to be charged with three counts of murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill, according to officials.
The five men were shot early Friday morning in four separate incidents during a span of less than two hours on the same side of town and not far from one another, police said.
Police identified the dead men as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31.
Two males were critically wounded in the shooting spree. All of the victims were targeted while they were out walking, and apparently did not know each other.
“We have not been able to find any commonality between the victims other than they were walking on the street,” Sgt. Dave Walker of the Tulsa Police Department said.
One of the victims who survived the attack described the shooter as a white male in a white pick-up truck, a detail that proved critical in finding and arresting the suspects.
Was This a Hate Crime?
Although the two men arrested are white and victims black, the crimes have yet to been deemed racially motivated. The task force’s job will be to determine whether federal hate crime laws were violated, Tulsa World reported.
Police Chief Chuck Jordan said “logic would lead you to believe that” these were hate crimes, but the police haven’t yet assessed all of the evidence to make that determination.
Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham said, “At this point, we’re not real sure [if the shootings were racially motivated]. Obviously we’ve just made the arrests. We need to conduct some more follow up interviews and things and hopefully some more of those details will come to light.”
Dr. Warren Blakney, who heads the local chapter of the NAACP, believes the shooter did group his prey together.
“We feel like he’s targeting African Americans in this part of town. And I think some parts of law enforcement feel the same way,” Blakney said Saturday.
City Councilor Jack Henderson said, “I was NAACP president for seven years and I understand and I know hate crime when I see one.”
Suspect’s Father Murder Anniversary?
On England’s Facebook page, his father, Carl England, was shot and killed April 5, 2010, almost exactly two years before Friday’s shootings, according to the Tulsa World’s archives.
A black man was charged and is serving a prison sentence for the crime.
On Thursday at 4:04 p.m., England wrote, “Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a f—— n—– it’s hard not to go off between that and sheran I’m gone in the head.” According to England’s Facebook page, his girlfriend, Sheran Hart Wilde, recently died.
On Friday night, England posted on Facebook, “Chilling at that house people talking s— on me for some s— I didn’t do … it just mite be the time to call it quits I I hate to say it like that but I’m done if something does happen tonite be ready for another funeral later.”
‘Operation Random Shooter’
The Tulsa Police Department joined forces with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Saturday in what they called “Operation Random Shooter” and asked those with any information relating to the case to come forward.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett today thanked the public for its help in capturing the men.
“We had received a few tips about one of them and then it became apparent the two of the possibly acted together,” Bartlett said.
Officials initially described the suspect as a “Lone Wolf.”
“We assumed that there could be more obviously involved,” officer Willingham said. “But, you know, until we got further in to this case, it didn’t reveal itself that there was two individuals involved.”
that there was two individuals involved.”