Police: 2 suspects arrested in Oklahoma shootings

Published April 8, 2012 11:00AM (EDT)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Police arrested two while male suspects early Sunday in recent shootings that left three people dead and left two more critically wounded, all black, in the Tulsa area.

Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham said the two men were arrested at a house just north of Tulsa at 1:47 a.m. and were expected to face three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill. He said police acted on a crimestoppers' tip and went to one location and tracked the suspects after they traveled about a half mile on foot to another location where they were taken into custody. He declined to characterize that as a pursuit.

"There obviously still is a lot of investigation" ahead, Willingham told The Associated Press by telephone. "We don't' have a motive at this time. We are still asking questions and hopefully that will become clear in coming days."

Willingham identified the men in custody as 19-year-old Jake England and 32-year-old Alvin Watts, but gave no hometowns nor said what developments led up to their arrests. He said they were taken early Sunday for questioning at a downtown Tulsa police station.

The shootings had placed Tulsa's black community on edge over the weekend after the series of shootings early Friday morning. Authorities had said they thought the shootings by an attacker or attackers were linked because they happened around the same time within a three-mile span and all five victims were out walking when they were shot.

Willingham said authorities still faced many unanswered questions after the arrests.

"We are going to turn over every rock," he said of the investigation.

Willingham said a tip led a special operations team and other forces to make the arrests. He says police used surveillance and other techniques and a helicopter in apprehending the two suspects.

Police had said previously that they were searching for a white man driving a white pickup, which was spotted in the area of three of the shootings. At least two dozen officers were called to investigate the case, along with the FBi and U.S. Marshals Service.

Willingham said the two suspects had been taken to a downtown Tulsa police station early Sunday and authorities would be booking them into an area jail in coming hours.

He said the arrests followed an anonymous tip received on Saturday but he declined to specify what that tip was. Willingham said he did not have any immediate details when asked if the men were armed when they were arrested.

He said police had begun moving to make arrests Saturday evening.

"We been on them since early in the evening (of Saturday). We had been doing surveillance and using a helicopter," he told AP.

By Salon Staff

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