Tulsa Shooting Suspects, Jake England and Alvin Watts, Charged with Murder, Hate Crimes [Video]
Tulsa, Oklahoma — Charges have now been filed against the two men accused of killing three people in a shooting rampage in Tulsa last week.
CNN reports that Alvin Watts, 33, and Jake England, 19, were charged with three counts of first-degree murder tied to the deaths of 54-year-old Bobby Clark, 49-year-old Dannaer Fields and 31-year-old William Terrell Allen.
The pair also face two counts of shooting with intent to kill related to two others who were wounded and five counts of malicious intimidation or harassment, which are hate crimes. All five victims were black.
According to Oklahoma state law, first-degree murder is punishable by death or life in prison.
“Filing charges is the first step to obtain justice for the victims and their families,” Doug Drummond, Tulsa County’s first assistant district attorney, said in a statement to MSNBC. “This is a tragic and senseless crime. Our office is committed to holding those responsible accountable for their actions.”
The Tulsa shootings, which occurred early on Good Friday (April 6) morning, have been described by the police as random because the pair of self-employed laborers did not know any of their victims.
One witness said the gunman simply pulled his pickup truck to the side of the street and asked for directions before opening fire.
England and Watts were arrested about 24 hours after the shootings occurred. Police had limited information from one survivor that a white male in a white truck was the shooter but calls to the Crime Stoppers tip line provided leads in the case, reports WOTV.
Court documents say both men confessed and that a Facebook page attributed to one of the suspects contained racial slurs and hinted that the victims were targeted because of their race.
Both men are being held in the Tulsa jail on bonds of more than 9-million dollars each. A judge is expected to set a preliminary hearing date Monday.
More on Jake England and Alvin Watts charges for the Tulsa Shootings in the video below: