2 Tulsa Shooting Suspects Confess, Police Say

Alvin L. Watts, 32, and Jacob C. England, 19, are accused of killing three black people and wounding two others in a shooting spree that terrified the Oklahoma city over the Easter weekend.

Comments: 80

  1. Clearly they won't be able to afford this bail, but why set any bail in the first place???

  2. Most states, consistent with established case law, require that the State must make a special showing before bail can be denied entirely. Such showing usually requires an evidentiary hearing, so its easier simply to establish a dollar amount well beyond the defendant's obvious means.

  3. ASG - because our legal justice system is based on "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

    Roots, family and ties to the community are a valid reason for granting bail. Bail is afforded to anyone arrested fior a crime unless he is a danger to others or a flight risk. Under those circumstances bail can be denied. Perhaps that will be raised at their arraignment next Monday

  4. These people are in jail awaiting trial. Zimmerman is out free as a bird. What's wrong with this picture?

  5. If this took place in Florida these guys would still be on the street pleading self defense. The sad thing is that it would work. My advice to anyone is stay away from Florida.

  6. There's a lot wrong with the whole Martin-Zimmerman incident and it would start, it seems, with the Stand Your Ground law and the Sanford police department's lack of effort to set parameters and enforce them. The Martins have asked everyone stay calm until this AG decides how to proceed. Nobody is ever going to be happy about this situation. A young man is needlessly dead and the man who killed him has not given a suitable explanation for anyone except the Sanford police department, and not all, apparently, of them. This is a Conservative mindset and people need to wake up about these kinds of ridiculous laws that allow people to kill other people without not accounting for it at all except, "I was afraid."

  7. Will they use the "he was wearing a hoodie" defense?

  8. Anyone walking around a 1 o'clock in the morning are up to no good.

  9. These two are really pathetic. All they have done is gun down innocent civilians who were walking in their own neighborhood. This is just the type of hogwash we don't need in a year that is already supercharged because of the November election. When tensions are running hot people need to cool down. When is this nonsense going to end? We have enough problems in this country...we don't need vigilantes of any type!

  10. No, we don't need vigilantes of any type. I couldn't agree more.

  11. Why do so many people that have given up on their own lives turn to mass killings? It seems he was getting even with the world not just blacks for his fathers death.

  12. If they were just getting even with the world, why did they just shoot BLACK people? I know it's hard to admit that racism is real. I know it's hard to accept that there are people who harbor hate for others simply because of how they look...but that's reality and racism is real. These two were on a hate/kill spree, may the lord have mercy on their souls.

  13. Of course the obvious question is "Where did they get the guns that they used?" We know who the pickup truck is registered to. If not for easy gun laws, maybe these two guys would end up trying to beat up innocent poeople on the street. Maybe they would be arrested for assault and battery (as one already had been). Instead, they kill three from the safety of their own truck. When do we say enough to the NRA?

  14. The clown politicans are too scarred of the NRA. As individual citizens we have to strike at the NRA itself. This will be both physically and politically.

  15. Guns are legal. They could buy them at any gun store if they don't have records. They could buy them at gun shows without much trouble at all. Being able to buy a gun legally has nothing to do with it. What are you going to do about it now anyway? Everybody and his brother has a gun or can get one. It's easier than buying alcohol. You might as well pick a battle you can win. You're never going to outlaw guns in the United States.

  16. Tell that to Romney. He'a proponent of that group

  17. We need to put these two men in a mental institution. These weren't logical crimes for a specific goal, they were the crimes of two destructive psychopaths who's only goal was to slaughter innocent men on Easter weekend. Urban terrorists.

  18. To Eugene from Brooklyn, NY: A slight but important correction to your very thoughtful comment - the ususual punishment for such crimes is the death penalty, not confinement to a mental institution.

  19. Mental institution? That's sort of for people you don't really want to put in prison for a long time. They would get far better treatment in a mental institution. They should go to jail for life. They hunted people out of vengeance.

  20. So killing someone for a specific goal makes it better?
    Wow, good to know for their defense.

  21. It is sad what two idiots can do to put Tulsa in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Let justice be served. Those two better pray I don't get picked for the jury!

  22. You won't.

  23. Perhaps after reading distinguished conservative commentator John Derbyshire, of the National Review until last Saturday, recommend that white people stay away from large groups of black people, these poor men feared for their lives and had to drive a truck around to Stand Their Ground. We don't know yet if their victims wore hoodies, or were suspended from school for weed, or were walking in gated communities, or all the other important facts.

  24. Best remark of the day! Thank you, sir.

  25. I hope "born before yesterday" gets that the comment above is ironic!

  26. Yes, Eileen, but I call it sarcasm.

  27. What I find insteresting is that most of the comments seem to focused around the criminals in this story. There are 3 dead and 2 wounded people here. My thoughts are with them and the African American community in Tulsa.

  28. Agreed. In the United States, for some reason, the focus of reporting tends to focus on the killer while the victims are all but ignored. In my opinion, this serves to make a 'hero' or 'anti-hero' of the perp, and encourages the next one to find his time in the spotlight. Better not to shine the light of fame on murderers and miscreants lest we encourage more.

  29. Generally speaking I don't support the death penalty but while we still have it I can think of few better candidates.

  30. This may well turn out to be a hate crime, but to date there is no publicly released (real) evidence of this being the case. This doesn't seem to bother the news media. Quite devisive to suggest this before more facts become apparent. Why am I not surprised?

  31. This piece in no way suggests this was a hate crime. Which statements in the article are you objecting to? The article simply states that city and community leaders "have said that the shootings were racially motivated" and then proceeds to quote police officials as saying there is no direct evidence of this, yet. I'm not sure that NYT could have phrased this any more succinctly.

  32. Two white men go into a black neighborhood and shoot five black people. Looks like hate to me.

  33. You'd have to be completely blind to not see the aspects that suggest this a hate crime. The methodology of the shooting plus Jacob England's Facebook post pretty much confirm it. What more evidence could you possibly need?

    This "blame the media" argument combined with a willingness to bend over backwards to deny the signs of racism (hey, let's take whatever George Zimmermann says as fact, he seems like a real trustworthy guy) are incredibly tired and exasperating. I don't understand why so many white people see stories like this as an affront to "their team." What does it cost you to simply acknowledge the obvious?

  34. How about just No Bail?

  35. The population of Tulsa is 392,000 including 62,000 African-American residents. All five victims were black. Mr. England wrote racial slurs on his facebook page directed at a black man that allegedly killed his father ten years ago. To deny the probability that this was a hate crime is proof that many Americans live in a delusion regarding race relations and crime.

  36. Probably is a hate crime. It sure looks like one. Best to let a prosecutor prove if to a jury, though, not sound off to the media.

  37. Wait a minute -- Chief Chuck Jordan of the Tulsa police said, "...we’re going to let the evidence take us where we want to go.” I hope he meant to say that they will go where the evidence takes them.

    The scientific method dictates that the evidence will point to a conclusion that is not a priori or already agreed upon. The way he worded it reminds me of the classic New Yorker cartoon, showing a boss handing an underling some papers, telling the employee to "Find some data that comes to this conclusion."

  38. I think he probably misspoke. You gotta remember this is Tulsa, Oklahoma. No graduate degrees here for police bureaucrats. He does have an associates degree from a community college, and a so-called BA from the University of Phoenix, perhaps the largest internet based post-secondary institution in the country. Not exactly a Harvard education.

    If you used the phrase "a priori" in a conversation with the good Chief, I am pretty sure you would receive a puzzled look, and perhaps a "say what?" in response.

  39. So..the woman in the car is sympathetic with them because they lost their dad? Does she not realize that three people are dead? I imagine they had families as well who are now missing them. Right?

    Come on, Lady.

  40. I completely agree with you.

  41. Having sympathy for someone is not the same thing as condoning thier actions. Sympathy just means you recognize that someone is hurting. Thier pain isn't magically cancelled out by the pain they cause to others. Tragically it seems these boys didn't understand that, but that doesn't mean we have to make the same mistake they did. I think we can sympathize with both the victims and the shooters- its pretty clear there are no winners in this story.

  42. I read the story twice and can't find any reference to a woman who "is sympathetic to them because they lost their dad." Are you citing a different story?

  43. Let's find the facts and act accordingly. Wouldn't that be refreshing?

  44. This is out and out premeditated murder. They should go to jail for life and stay there. What difference does it make whether the charge is a hate crime? Murder is hate enough.

  45. "Many city and community leaders have said that the shootings were racially motivated," How do they know why the shooters did what they did? They must not know why or the reporter would have incuded it in the story. So why mention their prejudices?

    "In 1921, Tulsa was the scene of a riot that is one of the deadliest episodes of racial violence in the nation’s history, in which a mob of white Tulsans destroyed a black neighborhood and killed dozens, perhaps hundreds, of residents."

    This was almost a hundred years ago. What does it have to do with this shooting? Who knows whether it even happended. Dozens vs. perhaps hundreds???? Why not say thousands?. That would much better help your goal of stirring up racial animosity. The NYT is so predictable.

  46. The 1921 Tulsa race riot is a well-known historical event that wiped out the city's black business district. Google it and check it out on Wikipedia.

  47. The "race riots" were a pogrom. A mass killing and burning of a complete neighborhood of prospering black people in Tulsa.
    In the aftermath a concealed clean up, also including terminology, since race riot implies two equal parties. Compare to Nazi lynchings being "race riots in Warsaw" or similar.
    The world will die ignorant. Go ahead.

  48. I agree. No one yet knows what the motivations were so why would the speculations of unidentified "community leaders" be included in a NYTimes article?

  49. If the victims were white, we'd hear such things as: "a married father of three," a "father with a 3-year-old son" a "brother and mentor." Who are these victims who were killed? If they were white, would the newspaper say: "three white men" were killed, and leave it at that? We'd learn who they were.

  50. And the first sentence should start "the two white men accused of killing."

    The race of the offender is specified when the offender is non-white but not otherwise.

  51. The American media likes to "qualify" victims of violent crime for the court of public opinion only if they are sympathetic victims. That's why female victims are described as "a grandmother," or "the mother of [x] children." Americans like sympathetic victims and we will demand justice. Americans will defend the perpetrator if the victim isn't sympathetic. Look at how Trayvon Martin is being described.

  52. Is it open season on Black people? It seems that the threshold for killing innocent people in the US has been lowered. Is this what the NRA and their supporters really want? Have everyone armed? What is the Republic descending into? Imagine if Trayvon Martin really were a thug and was armed? Shoot out between him and Mr. Zimmerman. What if these people in Tulsa were packing? Shoot out on the streets?
    Will the last person standing, please turn out the lights.

  53. Yes, this is what the NRA wants. Remember the NRA makes money off of killings. They do it by gun sales but more importantly by selling bullets. Over 120,000 Americans have been killed by guns since 9/11. Lots of money for the NRA.

  54. The NRA has 4 million members and is the largest citizen's lobby in the United States. It doesn't need any other source of income. A substantial percentage of its membership are police and security officers, present and former military and millions of sportsmen who attend and teach gun safety classes. One of the fastest growing category of NRA members and gun owners is women.

    Through its state and local affiliates the NRA teaches firearms safety and marksmanship to thousands upon thousands of Americans every year. It carefully reviews firearms and publishes its findings in order to keep substandard firearms out of the marketplace. The NRA has a longstanding policy of helping legislators in drafting legislation to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

    You really need to look into a subject before voicing uninformed opinions like this. Fortunately, most people will take your comments for what they are worth -- and that isn't much.

  55. Laird Wilcox: that may be the case but why is it that every person I know who supports the NRA (and I know quite a few) seems to be exactly the type shouldn't be carrying firearms? They are, to the last one, angry alcoholic guys with a BIG chip on their shoulder.

  56. The two were almost certainly race-driven, and that is a shame and they should spend the rest of their lives in prison.

    Can someone explain where Mssrs. Sharpton, Jackson et al are whenever yet another incident involving black-on-black or black-on-white crime happens? Where is the outrage and calls for justice?

    As community leaders they need to bring their energies to bear on any injustice. The epidemic of crime in the inner city is only worsened by their turning a blind eye.

  57. Everyone got involved in Florida, first by emailing citizens, blogging, then by petition long before Sharpton or Jackson, because the police did not perform their duty in that case. That's the only reason anything is being done. Because millions of people were horrified and decided it would not be tolerated. I am proud and grateful to them all.

    When the police do a fine job, as they have in Tulsa, no spectacle is required.

  58. Why is it when a white person kills a black person that then the white commentators like to all of a sudden voice their concern with black on black murder?

    Have you been deeply concerned with black on black murder all this time? And now all of a sudden it seemed like the right time to bring it up? Is it coincidental that bringing up black on black crime takes the focus off the heinous crime perpetrated by the white people in this case?

  59. As comedian and social commentator Jimmy Durante used to declare, "We're surrounded by assassins!"

    Well, I guess it has always been easier (and safer) for threatened people to blame the victims rather than the perpetrators, isn't it?

  60. One thing disturbs me more and more. It seems that there is more racial divisiveness since President Obama took office. We have a black president whose religion, faith, birth place, education and friendships have been questioned and doubted and denied and lied about by people who seem unable to accept his being POTUS.

    How much of the anger that is being fueled against him is being worked out on the streets of America?

  61. Perhaps some Americans are realizing that American businesses are at a disadvantage in trade that is now global, instead of national?

  62. For all of you wondering what would happen if a white man stalked a black man and attacked him, and the black man shot his attacker, here's what happened in Tulsa:

    England and his daughter’s boyfriend went looking for Jefferson at the apartment complex. When the found him, England hit him with a stick and knocked him to the ground. Jefferson pulled out a gun and shot England in the chest, the World reported, killing him. Jefferson, who is black, was arrested the next day when he showed up at a hospital. He was convicted of pointing a firearm. He is serving a six year prison sentence in the shooting.

  63. I hope everyone realizes this is precisely what the NRA wants: murder in the streets. The last thing they want is a safe society - why would anyone buy guns if they felt safe? No, they are in the cold-blooded murder business, and the more murders that happen, the more guns will be sold, and the more money people like Wayne La Pierre and the politicians his organization pay off, will make. It's simply good business to have folks shooting at each other, and not missing.

  64. It is true that racists, and men who would love to destabilize American cities so they can commit crimes, are wishing to start a race war as well as a rationale for their hatred of women.

    But the real reasons are that they wish to be famous and also wealthy and politically powerful, as they would likely imagine that racists were, during America's days of legalized slavery.

    It is clear, that in today's societies engaging in world trade, all wishes for a happy life have been drowned in the reality that we are not ever in control of our own earning power or any other aspect of personal or family economy.

  65. Enough guns, already.

  66. Twice as many white people are arrested every year for every category of crime as compared to blacks. Except for gambling and race more whites are arrested every year for each specific category of crime. But the prisons are full of blacks because whites get a white pass between arrest and prosecution. Whites get rehab, probation, community service and dropped charges with their records expunged.

    While this disparity exist for all types of crimes it is most egregious for non-violent drug offenders which comprise the bulk of the increased incarceration rates.
    See FBI Uniform Crime Reports; Bureau of Prisions; Michelle Alexander "The New Jim Crow"; Khalil Gibran Muhammad "The Condemnation of Blackness"

    What are white people doing about the problem of white-on-white crime?

    Such as serial killers, terrorists-Tim McVeigh, David Koresh,Jim Jones, Randy Weaver-,child killers-Susan Smith, Casey Anthony, the Ramseys, organized crime, corporate plutocrat fraud and Robert Bales.

    And what are white people doing about poverty,hunger and disease in America?

    And what is America doing about hunger, disease, clean fresh water and climate change on Earth?

    And what does any of this have to do with the killing of Trayvon Martin or these victims or Rekia Boyd or the young man in Pasadena Ca. because they were black?

  67. robbery not race...

  68. approximately 10,000 people die every year from guns in the united states.

    what would the public reaction be or laws enacted if 10,000 people died every year from e.coli contaminated food such as beef or spinach ?

    people should be outraged about the epidemic of gun violence in our country.

    http://bradycampaign.org/facts/

  69. Here we go again. Another media-vigilante trial.

    Do you write about the victims color if it is white?

  70. The government needs to buy back guns, sue manufacturers and sellers for distributing lethal items wantonly and knowingly, and promote tolerance with the proceeds

  71. My prayers are with the families of the victims. Three families will not get to say "Good Morning" to their family member today. The end of this type of violence stars with me. Let us play that forward.

  72. What is going to happen to the baby?

  73. Someone below asked if the recent killings in Florida and Tulsa are indicative of something going wrong with society. Really? You have to wonder? Our society here in the US has been spiralling downward for decades! Every corner of the country is wrought with depravity and moral decay. Moms drowning babies; a dad throws his son from a boat because the kid was acting 'rebellious'; football coaches molesting kids...no longer isolated incidents, this type of behaviour has become part of the fabric of society in this country and around the world. The cause? FEAR When we lost our government in November 1963 in Dealy Plaza we as a society lost our security blanket. We found out we no longer had a government we could count on; a hierarchy we could believe in and trust. And that lack of trust has now mutated into downright fear; we no longer trust anyone!
    A fearful population is like a field of dry weeds, needing only a spark to ignite into a conlfagration.. An incident like the ones in Florida and Tulsa may seem isolated but rest assured...they are part of the spark that will indeed like the firerstorm that will set this country ablaze. We are heading for a revolution that will tear the country apart once and for all.

    Turn the lights out when you leave please

  74. Is it me or does this type of attention to these recent cases seem like a diversion from the economic struggle in America? Why these particular murders? If the Media stops reporting just "Hate crimes" would we even notice racism as much? We know that it exist and it always will, but why feed it more by giving it so much coverage? Thats exactly what racist people want!!

  75. At least 80% of these comments show the utter stupidity and ignorance of their authors regarding the NRA and the Martin-Zimmerman shooting. The NRA does not profit off the murder of innocent people. It is a rights lobbying organiztions, just like many others.

    Mr. Zimmerman was NOT acting within the boundaries of Florida's laws on the use of deadly force for lawful self-defense. He most likely will be charged with manslaughter since he did not meet the first criteria of stand your ground: "The amount of force that is used to defend 'yourself ' must not be excessive under the circumstances.

    The threat by Mr. Martin, who was not armed with anything considered a leathal weapon, was not the kind of violent assault that justifies respsonding with deadly force. Nor do Mr. Zimmerman's injuries appear to rise ot the level of a "serious injury".

    At first read, it appears that, prior to and at the time of the shooting, Mr. Zimmerman had been acting as a free-lance policeman which is strictly prohibited by Florida's law.

    Florida is NOT a shoot to kill state with no laws governing the possession or use of a lawfully owned firearm. Quite the opposite.

  76. Of course this is indeed a race crime but as far as the courts go, what does it matter? These are premeditated murders, 1st degree. They get life without parole. Being a hate crime can't give them any more than that.

  77. Keir Weimer believes this story is pregnant with racial, class, and other social overtones, just as the Trayvon Martin case is, and is ripe for the national media establishment's exploitation and sensationalism. These two suspects confessions must hold some value, and almost bring some finality to this case, whereas the Trayvon Martin case is only beginning to unfold.

    Keir Weimer hopes the public can withhold judgment until the facts are presented, examined, and then after the appropriate and logical conclusions are drawn from said facts, form its opinion.

    -Keir Weimer

  78. Just because a Black individual is sitting in the oval office does not mean it is the end of racism and bigotry in America.

  79. In the news article , the victims are referred to without titles such as mr. or Mrs. However , the two suspects ( killers ) are referenced as " Mr." ! The rationale ?

  80. the victims 1st & last names are used, so no title needed. Mr. is used in the 2nd mention of one of the victims. This usual procedure i think.