Three African American men are dead in Tulsa, Oklahoma and two white suspects are in custody. Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said with the facts in this case one could believe the shootings were racially motivated. An investigation is on going but Jim Finch, head of the FBI’s Oklahoma office said Sunday that it was premature to talk about hate crimes.
According to published reports the first shooting began at 1 a.m. Friday in predominantly black neighhorhoods in North Tulsa. Victim number one was 49 year old Dannaer Fields, died at a hospital. Two others were shot just 3 minutes later, but survived and were released from a local hospital on Sunday, said Jordan.
Victim number two was shot and killed about 2 a.m. while victim number three was found around 8 a.m. next to a funeral home. Police Chief Joran identified the two victims as William Allen and Bobby Clark.
Neighborhood tips lead to the arrest of the two suspects. One suspect was planning to burn his white pickup truck identified at the shooting scene.
Tulsa police have released the names of the men in custody, 19 year old Jake England and 32 year old Alvin Watts. The pair are also accused of critically wounding two other African American men. The suspects were arrested on Sunday.
Both suspects have been charged with 3 counts of murder and 2 counts of shooting with the intent to kill, said police.
Police say the five victims were shot in four separate incidents as they were walking outdoors.