Police backed by a helicopter arrested two white men early today and said they would face murder charges in the recent shootings that terrorized Tulsa’s black community and left three people dead and two critically wounded. A police spokesman said Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were arrested at a home just north of Tulsa about 2am today and were expected to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill. He said police acted on an anonymous tip.
While police identified the men as white and all the victims are black, authorities have not described the shootings as racially motivated. Community leaders, however, expressed concern—as well as relief at the arrests. “The community once again can go about its business without fear of there being a shooter on the streets, on Easter morning,” says the president of Tulsa NAACP. Police said they linked the shootings because they happened about the same time within a few miles of each other. “There obviously still is a lot of investigation” ahead, said the spokesman. “We don’t have a motive at this time. We are still asking questions and hopefully that will become clear in coming days.”