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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Entries in Tulsa (7)

Tuesday
Apr102012

Tulsa Shooting Suspects Said to Confess

Alvin Watts (L) and Jacob England (R). Tulsa Police Department(TULSA, Oklahoma) -- Two Oklahoma men accused of a deadly shooting spree last week that apparently targeted black people at random along Tulsa's streets have confessed to the shootings, according to published reports.

Authorities say Jake England, 19, confessed to shooting three people and Alvin Watts, 32, confessed to shooting two.

The rampage left three people dead, and two more were seriously wounded.  Watts is believed to have shot two of the three who died, according to police.

All of the victims were black.  England and Watts, who police describe as white, have not been charged with hate crimes.

The confessions emerge as Tulsa police continue to piece together the puzzle that led to the shootings that terrorized Tulsa's African-American community beginning last Friday, until the men were arrested early Sunday morning.  Police recovered a weapon they believe was used in the shootings, sources told ABC News, but have not yet disclosed where it was found or any forensic evidence.

The two suspects appeared in an Oklahoma court on Monday via a closed circuit video from the Tulsa County Jail for a bond setting hearing.

Both men were booked under three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with the intent to kill and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.  A judge ordered that they be held, with bonds set at $9.16 million each.

England and Watts are scheduled to be back in court on April 16 for an official arraignment. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr092012

Tulsa Shooting: Suspects' Bond Set at $9.1 Million Each

Alvin Watts (L) and Jacob England (R). Tulsa Police Department(TULSA COUNTY, Okla.) -- Two Tulsa men arrested in connection with a shooting spree that left three black people dead and two critically injured made their initial court appearance Monday morning and were ordered by a judge to be held on $9.1 million bonds each.

Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, appeared in an Oklahoma court via a closed circuit video from the Tulsa County Jail, according to ABC News' Tulsa affiliate KTUL.  Neither man had an attorney present. Police have not yet determined which man was the alleged shooter, according to KTUL.

England and Watts were arrested at a house north of Tulsa around 2 a.m. on Sunday after the series of deadly shootings. The five victims 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 deceased victims as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31. There was no connection between the suspects and victims, police said at a news conference on Sunday.

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.

Police say their investigation will include Jake England's racially charged Facebook postings, although they say it's premature to describe the incident as a hate crime. The shootings occurred nearly two years to the day after a black man shot England's father to death, according to his Facebook posting.

England and Watts are scheduled to be back in court on April 16.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr092012

Facebook Clues in Tulsa Shooting Spree

Alvin Watts (L) and Jacob England (R). Tulsa Police Department(TULSA, Okla.) -- Police say their investigation of the deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Okla., will include the racially charged Facebook postings of a man arrested Sunday morning in connection with the attacks, although they say it's premature to describe the incident as a hate crime.

Two white men were arrested in connection with the random attacks that left three black pedestrians dead and two in critical condition last Friday, 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.

"I'm just really amazed at how quickly we were able to apprehend these two subjects," Task force commander Maj. Walter Evans said at a news conference on Sunday.  "But there are still a whole lot of unanswered questions that we have to have answered."

The shootings occurred nearly two years to the day after a black man shot England's father to death, according to his Facebook posting.

But the FBI's James Finch, who was part of the task force handling the case, on Sunday called it "very premature to talk about hate crimes.  We have yet to analyze all the information to understand the motivations of the subjects in this case."

Although police were reluctant to call the killings a hate crime, others were less so.

"Somebody that committed these crimes were very upset with black people," Tulsa Councilman Jack Henderson said on Sunday.  "That person happened to be a white person.  The people they happened to kill and shoot were black people.  That fits the bill for me.  That's a personal feeling."

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.  There was no connection between the suspects and victims, police said at a news conference on Sunday.

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.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr072012

Police Hunt for Suspect in Shooting Spree That Left 3 Dead, 2 Injured

Comstock/Thinkstock

*UPDATE: The FBI is  investigating the three deadly shooting incidents that targeted African-Americans who were out walking. The FBI’s job will be to determine whether federal hate crime laws were violated, Tulsa World reported.

 

(TULSA, Okla.) -- Police are on the hunt for a white male driving a white pickup truck after a shooting spree in Tulsa, Okla. has left three people dead and two injured since Friday morning, ABC affiliate KTUL reports.

Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31, all died after being shot. Officials say the five shootings took place on the same side of town not too far from each other.

"We are doing what we can do. Someone needs to step up and somebody needs to come forward and say you know, we know who did this," says Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker.

All of the victims are African-American and were walking on the street when they were shot. Police have determined that they had no relation to each other.

Dr. Warren Blakney, of the NAACP said, "We feel like he's targeting African Americans and I think law enforcement, some parts of law enforcement feel that same way."

The NAACP urged the public to stay safe and smart.

"As long as that person is loose then we are in danger, and I don't want any vigilante stuff to start happening I don't want a race riot," says city councilor Jack Henderson. "I just want this person caught and I want the people that live in this community to be safe."

Sgt. Walker says if you have information about "this crime specifically" please call the direct homicide tip line at 918-798-8477 or email homicide detectives at homicide@cityof tulsa.org.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar072012

Several Injured in Shooting at Tulsa County Courthouse

Hemera/Comstock/Thinkstock(TULSA, Okla.) -- A shooting outside the Tulsa County Courthouse has left at least one Tulsa County deputy and as many as three other people injured.

The gunman has been taken into custody and is being taken to the hospital for an unknown injury, according to ABC News affiliate KTUL.

The gunfire erupted about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the vicinity of the courthouse and the nearby Tulsa City-County Library, KTUL reported.

One bloodied man was seen being carried out of a building on a stretcher. The person had blood on their head and leg. Another man was brought out of another building with a bandage on his leg.

The total number of victims and the extent of their injuries is not yet known.

The area surrounding the courthouse has been closed to traffic.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Oklahoma Couple Weds at Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation(TULSA, Okla.) -- A Tulsa, Okla., couple whose love story started over a cup of coffee looked no further than their local Starbucks when it came time to tie the knot.

“We fell in love over conversations of coffee,” bride Eva McCarthy Capparello said.

The bride and groom, Carmine Capparello, said “I do” this week at their favorite Starbucks, which moved out the displays to make room for the bridal party and 50 guests.

The couple met on a dating site in 2008, but for two years built a friendship online, trading emails and messages. It wasn’t until the spring of 2010 that they met in person -- for coffee, of course -- and clicked.

“We were friends. We would meet up for coffee, talk and talk for hours and hours over coffee,” Eva Capparello said. “We hung out like that until we just fell in love.”

The store, located at 51st and Harvard in Tulsa, closed for the occasion and gave the bride free reign to decorate.

“They took the artwork off the walls and we put up some of our own photos. They moved the displays out,” Eva said. “We still wanted it to be a Starbucks, but with a personal touch of ours.”

Even though it was Starbucks, the bride didn’t skimp on details, choosing to wear the traditional white dress, have a 10-person bridal party alongside them and feature an impressive cake. For the father-daughter dance, they headed out to the parking lot.

“It was amazing,” she said. “It was intimate, comfortable, everything we wanted.”

The newlywed coffee lovers took off for Destin, Fla., for their honeymoon Wednesday morning. Before they left on their road trip, they shared their first official cup of coffee as a married couple.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun102011

Tulsa Man Pushed Out Window, Dies, in Alleged Spousal Abuse Case

Comstock/Thinkstock(TULSA, Okla.) -- Josh Hilberling, a 6-foot, 5-inch, 220-pound former football player, died after he plunged 17 stories from his Oklahoma apartment building, an alleged victim of spousal abuse.

Tulsa police say Hilberling, 23, was pushed out of his 25th floor apartment window at the University Club Tower on Tuesday by his wife, Amber Michelle Hilberling, 19, who is being charged with first-degree murder.

"We taught him to never hit a woman, but what we didn't think to teach him was to get away," his mother, Jeanne Hilberling, told ABC's affiliate KTUL. "We just will never forget him. He's one of a kind."

The couple had been married only a year, according to his parents, but just last month their son went to Domestic Violence Intervention Services looking for help. It had been hard, they said, for him to admit he was a victim.

They said Josh, who was in the Air Force, didn't leave because Amber was eight months pregnant with their first child.  "Most of the time you have a homicide similar to this and typically the woman is the victim," said Officer Jason Willingham, spokesman for the Tulsa Police. "I don't recall any situation that is similar in recent history, for sure."

Police received a call Tuesday afternoon from witnesses who reported a suicide at the apartment tower, according to Willingham. Hilberling had fallen from the 25th floor to an eighth floor parking garage.

When paramedics arrived, police questioned witnesses and those who knew the couple, determining that Josh had been "pushed out the window, breaking the window and causing his death," said Willingham. "It was a heck of a fall."

At first Amber Hilberling was arrested on second-degree murder, but later police changed it to first-degree when they looked at the evidence.

So far, no charges have been filed, according to Susan Witt of the Tulsa District Attorney's office.

"Tulsa police are still investigating," said Witt. "When their investigation is complete, reports will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review and a decision about charges."

Willingham said the couple had a history of domestic violence and there had been protective orders "on both sides."

Tulsa police said that investigators found a protective order that that Josh Hilberling requested in May because he said he wife hit him on the head with a lamp and he needed 21 stitches.

The order was dismissed when the couple did not show up in court.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio