Sunday, April 08, 2012

Two White Men Arrested in Shooting Spree That Killed Three African American Men and Wounded Two Others

Two Men Arrested in Tulsa Shooting Spree

April 8, 2012

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.

Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32 were arrested at a house north of Tulsa around 2 a.m. Sunday morning and are expected to be charged with three counts of murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill, according to officials.

Early Friday morning, five black males were shot, three fatally, 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 those killed 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," said Sgt. Dave Walker of the Tulsa Police Department.

One of the victims who survived described the shooter as a white male in a white pick-up truck, a detail which proved critical in finding and arresting the suspects.

Was This a Hate Crime?

Although the two men arrested are white, 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.

"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," said Willingham.

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.

"I was NAACP president for seven years and I understand and I know hate crime when I see one," said City Councilor Jack Henderson.

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 , 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.

On Sunday, Mayor Dewey Bartlett thanked the public for their 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," said Bartlett.

Officials initially described the suspect as a "Lone Wolf."

"We assumed that there could be more obviously involved. But you know until we got further in to this case, it didn't reveal itself that there was two individuals involved," said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham.

ABC News Radio contributed to this report.

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