Accused Tulsa shooters said they were having a killing 'contest': suspect's uncle

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 18, 2012 9:23 PM

By Steve Olafson

TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) - Two men accused of going on a shooting spree in Tulsa that killed three African-Americans and wounded two more said they were having "a contest" to see who could shoot the most people, an uncle of one of the suspects testified on Wednesday.

The testimony by Timothy Hoey, the uncle of suspect Jake England, was during a hearing to determine if England, 19, and co-defendant Alvin Watts, 33, should stand trial for the Good Friday shootings.

The two accused shooters described the killings to Hoey in a conversation at his trailer while they were hiding from police, Hoey said.

The shootings occurred after midnight on April 6 within a 5-mile area of north Tulsa. England and Watts were arrested two days later.

England and Watts also confessed to the shootings during police questioning, according to testimony.

Watts said he participated in the killings because England's late father, killed during a 2010 fight with an African-American, was a good friend, Tulsa Detective Vic Regalado said.

The killing of England's father was not prosecuted as a homicide after officials concluded he was shot in self-defense.

The hearing will resume on August 14. Prosecutors have not yet said if they plan to seek the death penalty.

Tulsa has a history of tense relations between a minority African-American population and majority whites. It was the site of one of the worst race riots in U.S. history in 1921.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Lisa Shumaker)