Tulsa shooting spree racially charged?
(CBS News) Two suspects in a Tulsa, Okla., shooting spree are due in court Monday to face first-degree murder charges. Three people were killed and two were wounded in Friday's shootings.
The racially charged case involves victims who were all black, and the suspects who are white.
The suspects were caught early Sunday in a massive manhunt the FBI dubbed "Operation Random Shooter." Up until the arrests, it was a frightening 48 hours for residents in Tulsa, a city of 392,000 people, about 62,000 of whom are black.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan says the credit for Sunday's arrests goes in large part to the Tulsa community. "We were desperate for leads. That's why we made some very pointed requests for our community to come forward," he said. "And they did."
Jake England, 19, and his 32-year-old roommate Alvin Watts were found holed up in a trailer north of Tulsa.
Police won't speculate on a motive for the crimes.
But England's background speaks of recent personal troubles. Two years ago, his father, Carl, was shot and killed. A black man, Pernell Jefferson, was arrested as a person of interest. Then in January, England's fiance Sheran, the mother of their infant son, took her own life.
And the day before the shootings, England used a racial slur in a Facebook posting writing, "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."
Despite that, police say they're not ready to call this a hate crime.
Jordan said, "You could look at the facts of the case and certainly come up with what would appear to be a logical theory. But we're gonna to let the evidence take us where we want to go. There are motivations other than race in these kinds of incidents, and we're gonna look at it."
But to some, like city councilman Jack Henderson, the case is clear. In published reports, he said constituents told him that the suspects opened fire after stopping and asking for directions, shooting only when the backs of the victims were turned.
Henderson told CBS News, "Somebody that committed these crimes were (sic) very upset with black people. That person happened to be a white person. The person they killed and shot were black people. That fits the bill for me."
On Sunday, several dogs guarded the house where the two men lived. A woman who pulled up there didn't give her name, but said in England's defense, "His head is not on straight. He needs help. He needs help ... Jake is not a bad person. He is really not."
To see Anna Werner's full report, watch the video in the player above.
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