Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma have announced the arrest of two white men suspected of killing three African-Americans and wounding two others in an apparently random shooting spree on Friday that had terrified local reisdents.
According to the Tulsa World, Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were arrested in the early hours of Sunday following several anonymous tips that described England as the shooter.
The victims had no apparent connection with one another or with the gunman. Although local community leaders and a representative of the NAACP said they believed the crimes were racially motivated, an FBI agent who participated in a news conference insisted, “It is way too early to call this a hate crime.”
An entry on England’s Facebook page, however, suggests that he was angry over the shooting death of his father by an African-American, which occurred two years ago Thursday, and further distraught over the recent death of his girlfriend and the monther of his infant son, Sheran Hart Wilde.
“Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a f—— n—–,” England wrote. “it’s hard not to go off between that and sheran I’m gone in the head. RIP”
According to the Daily Mail, Jake England’s father, Carl England, was killed when he attempted to confont Pernell Jefferson, who had started making threats against England’s daughter and her boyfriend after a fight in which the boyfriend hit Jefferson with a baseball bat.
During the confrontation, England hit Jefferson with a stick, knocking him down. Jefferson, who had previously been in prison on drugs and weapons charges, then pulled out a gun and fatally shot the other man. He is now serving a six year sentence in the killing.
This video is from the Associated Press, April 8, 2012.