The same attacker or attackers may be to blame for four early-morning shootings that left three people dead and two wounded within a three-mile span of north Tulsa, police in Oklahoma say.
All five victims were walking through neighborhoods not far from each other when they were shot early Friday, Tulsa homicide detective Sgt. Dave Walker told the Tulsa World.
All the victims were black, prompting the Rev. Warren Blakney Sr., NAACP Tulsa president, to say that someone appeared to be “targeting black people to shoot.”
“I’m on edge for my people,” Blakney said, according to the Tulsa World.
The local chapter of the NAACP and other black leaders held an emergency meeting Friday evening at a church to appeal for calm and discuss safety.
When asked if people in the community felt that the shooter was deliberately targeting black people, Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson replied, “Yes, absolutely,” krmg.com reported.
Henderson said people should not let “some crazy, deranged person mess up their weekend,” but he added that the community “needs to watch their backs” until the shooter is caught, according to the Tulsa World.
Police don’t believe the victims knew each other.
“There is no forensic evidence to link at this point,” Walker said. “Timing and location lead us to believe they may be connected.”
The FBI is assisting in the investigation and will determine if any federal laws were broken, said Special Agent Clay Simmonds, agency spokesman for the state of Oklahoma.
Four shooting victims were found in yards, and the fifth in a street. Police identified those killed as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31. Fields was found wounded about 1 a.m. Friday, Clarke was found in a street about an hour later, and Allen was discovered in the yard of a funeral home about 8:30 a.m.
Minutes after Fields was found, police found two men with gunshot wounds in another yard two blocks away. They were taken to hospitals in critical condition but expected to survive, police said.
Police Capt. Steve Odom said in his 30 years with the police department, he’d never seen so many shootings happen in such a short time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.