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2 men admit shooting 5 black residents, Tulsa police say

April 09, 2012|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
  • Tulsa, Okla., shooting suspects Alvin Watts, left, and Jake England.
Tulsa, Okla., shooting suspects Alvin Watts, left, and Jake England. (Tulsa Police Department )

The two suspects in a shooting rampage that terrorized the black community in Tulsa, Okla., over the weekend have confessed, police said Monday.

Tulsa Police Department arrest reports obtained by The Times say 32-year-old Alvin Watts confessed to shooting two people and 19-year-old Jake England confessed to shooting three.

England’s arrest report says he drove during the shootings and led police to the weapon. Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham told The Times that the gun and a truck were seized in connection with the shootings.

The shootings early Friday morning left three people dead -- a woman and two men -- and two people seriously wounded. All the victims were black, and police have described both of the suspects as white, although England has identified himself as Native American in the past.

It's not clear which man would have shot which victim. An arrest report says Watts claims he shot "the ones in between the first and last."

Police have said England may have been trying to avenge his father's fatal shooting by a black man two years ago. But Willingham said that as far as he knew, the suspects did not discuss their motivation during their interviews with police.

Willingham said it appeared the two men were equal partners in crime, despite the difference in their ages. 

"Each admitted to his own crime where there was a fatality," Willingham said. 

He said the confessions were corroborated by other evidence but he declined to discuss that evidence, including the type of gun recovered.

"What they said matches what our investigation showed," he said.

Earlier Monday, both men appeared in court. Their bail was set at nearly $9.2 million each, and a sheriff's spokesman told The Times that they were being held separately in segregation at Tulsa jail.

molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

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