Investigators say they are looking at Facebook postings in connection with a string of shootings in Tulsa on Friday that left three people dead, two critically wounded, and spread fear in the city’s black community, the Associated Press reports.
Authorities say they plan to charge Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 33, with murder and other offenses. Police identified both England and Watts as white, while all five victims were black.
Police say it is too early to tell whether the killings were racially-motivated, but a series of Facebook postings attributed to England suggest he was angry over the killing of his father by a black man.
“It’s apparent from the posting on the Facebook page that he had an ax to grind, and that was possibly part of the motive,” Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham told the AP. “If you read the Facebook post and see what he’s accused of doing, you can see there’s a link between the two of them.”
In one post on the page attributed to England, he writes that it has been two years since his father, Carl, died. “I miss you so much... your not forgotten,” he writes.
In a second post, England writes that “it’s hard not to go off” because of the anniversary of his father’s death and the death of his fiancee earlier this year. BlogPost has whited out a racial slur used by England in the post and by one of the people who responded to the post. Alvin Watts, the other suspected shooter writes in response: “I kno I miss them 2.”
According to Oklahoma’s Newson6, Carl England was shot to death in April 2010, in what police believed was a domestic dispute. A day later, Pernell Jefferson, a black man, was arrested for the death. Jefferson is currently behind bars on charges of drug and firearm possession.
England also posted on Facebook about his son and wishing “everything could go back to normal.”
In one of the last postings before the shooting Friday, England writes: “If something does happen tonight be ready for another funeral later.”
After several friends say they are worried about him, England responds: “It’s cool I’m not guard do anything my son is the only thing I have to live for.”