TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Police backed by a helicopter arrested two men early Sunday and said they would face murder charges in the recent shootings that terrorized Tulsa’s black community and left three people dead and two others critically wounded.
Police spokesman Jason Willingham said the two men were arrested at a home just north of Tulsa about 2 a.m. Sunday and were expected to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill in the spate of shootings early Friday. He said police made the arrests after receiving 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 and declined to discuss that issue Sunday.
Community leaders, however, expressed concern about the motivation for the shootings on Tulsa’s predominantly black north side, as well as the possibility that they would provoke a vigilante response. The Rev. Warren Blakney Sr., president of the Tulsa NAACP, said Sunday that word of the arrests had provided a great sense of relief.
“The community once again can go about its business without fear of there being a shooter on the streets on today, on Easter morning,” he said.