Photo by Tulsa Police via Getty Images.
UPDATE: Jake England, one of the two suspects facing hate crime and murder charges for a shooting massacre in a Tulsa, Okla., neighborhood says that he is not racist.
"I always got along with everybody," England told his lawyer in an eight-minute videotaped interview the lawyer gave to the Associated Press. "It didn't matter what color you (were)."
In the tape, England also addresses what might be some of the strongest evidence that the attack, which he and Alvin Watts have confessed to, was racially motivated: a Facebook post in which England describes the man who killed his father using a racial slur.
"It was just express(ing) the way I was upset about the guy that shot my dad...That's the only time I ever expressed anything like that about somebody," he said. England and Watts have said that they chose their victims at random, according to police.
The Tulsa shooting spree took place around the second anniversary of England's father's shooting death. The man who shot his father is Pernell Demond Jefferson, who is black. England and Watts are described by authorities as white. England has Cherokee ancestry.
Jefferson is expected to stand trial for charges of attempted first-degree burglary and illegal possession of a firearm in connection with the incident. But he will not face murder charges because England's death was ruled a justifiable homicide by prosecutors under Oklahoma's "stand your ground" law.
Monday, April 16: The two men who police say have admitted to going on a deadly shooting spree earlier this month in Tulsa pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of first-degree murder, shooting with the intent to kill and malicious harassment.
Jake England and Alvin Watts appeared in court for their brief arraignment hearing via closed-circuit television from jail, where they have remained since their arrests following the Easter weekend shooting spree that killed three.
The Tulsa World explains that their not guilty pleas are "routine" at this stage of the case, and do not necessarily mean the pair will fight the charges. The pair have already confessed to the killings, according to police, and are expected to remain in jail without the possibility of bail through their trial.
A preliminary hearing was set for May 30.
Wednesday, April 11: One of the victims who died in a shooting rampage in a Tulsa, Okla. neighborhood on Good Friday knew one of the gunmen, according to the victim's wife.
The Tulsa World reported Wednesday that Jeanette Allen believes her husband William Allen, 31, who was killed Friday, knew Jake England. England and Alvin Watts have confessed to the shooting spree in a predominantly black neighborhood of Tulsa that left three dead and two injured.
Jeanette Allen told the World that England and her husband were both frequent visitors to the same apartment complex: Comanche Park Apartments. William Allen had a brother who lived in the complex, and England had a sister living there. The complex is also where England's father was fatally shot in 2010.
Jeanette Allen said that her husband and England met at least once at her brother-in-law's apartment, and that they spoke with each other in the complex occasionally. Her husband's brother recognized England from media reports after his arrest, she said.
Although police have not given a motive for the shootings, speculation has focused on the 2010 death of Jake England's father, and a series of racially-charged Facebook posts England wrote in the week before the shootings.
Elsewhere in Slate: Emily Bazelon examines the uncomfortable connections between the Tulsa shootings and Trayvon Martin's death.
Tuesday, April 10: The two men accused of going on a shooting spree in a predominantly black neighborhood of Tulsa, Okla., have confessed, according to a police document given to the Associated Press.
Jake England, 19, confessed to shooting three people, and Alvin Watts, 32, confessed to shooting two, according to the document.
Authorities had previously said that they expected to charge the pair with first-degree murder, shooting with the intent to kill, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Their bail was set at $9.16 million each on Monday.
The shooting spree killed Dannaer Fields, 49; Bobby Clark, 54; and William Allen, 31; and wounded David Hall, 46, and Deon Tucker, 44, according to the Tulsa World. The two wounded in the shooting have been treated and released from separate hospitals. The victims are all believed to have been random targets who happened to be walking near the gunmen.
The motive for the shooting spree may be connected to the death of England's father, Carl, two years ago. Jake England, who has identified himself as Native American and white, posted racially charged comments to Facebook in the lead-up to the anniversary of his father's death, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the AP, Watts had been living with England to help him rebuild his life after his father's death.
The man who killed Carl England is Pernell Demond Jefferson. According to the Times, Carl England tracked down Jefferson, who is black, after he allegedly attempted to break into his daughter's apartment. A fight broke out, and Jefferson shot Carl England in the chest as Jake England watched.
Jefferson is expected to stand trial for charges of attempted first-degree burglary and possession of a firearm after a former conviction of a felony in connection with the incident. But he will not face murder charges because England's death was ruled a justifiable homicide by prosecutors under Oklahoma's "stand your ground" law, the same type of law that has so far protected George Zimmerman from arrest in Florida for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
According to the AP, Jake England's fiancée Sheran Hart Wilde committed suicide in January, just months after giving birth to their son.
A Facebook post by England at 3:04 a.m. on Thursday, the day before the shooting spree, read "Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a f------ n----- it's hard not to go off between that and sheran I'm gone in the head." (via the Tulsa World)
Monday, April 9: The two men arrested Sunday for allegedly going on a shooting rampage in a predominantly black neighborhood of Tulsa, Okla., are being held on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with the intent to kill, and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The Associated Press reports that the two suspects, Alvin Watts and Jake England, made their first court appearance Monday via closed-circuit television from the jail. The judge set their bond at $9.16 million each. Their next court date is slated for April 16.
The AP originally reported incorrectly that the two men were charged on Monday. They are expected to be charged at a later date.
Both men, who are white, are accused of going on a shooting spree early Friday that left three people dead and two critically wounded, all of whom were black, according to police. Tulsa officials have said that while they have no evidence as of now to support claims that the rampage was racially motivated, it would seem to be a logical explanation. Investigators are still determining if England was avenging the death of his father two years ago. England had earlier described his father's killer as a black man, using a racial slur, on Facebook.
Sunday, April 8: Two white men were arrested Sunday for a shooting spree in Tulsa that killed three African-Americans and left two others critically wounded, terrorizing the predominantly black neighborhood, reports Reuters. Police acted on an anonymous tip and said they expected 19-year-old Jake England and 32-year-old Alvin Watts to be charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill, reports the Associated Press.
Officials made it clear Sunday they were not ready to describe the shootings in the predominantly black north side of Tulsa as racially motivated. Tulsa’s police chief said Saturday that while there was no evidence of that, it would seem to be a logical explanation, reports Tulsa World. All the shootings took place early Friday and the five victims were out walking when they were shot within a few miles of each other. They didn’t appear to know each other.
England had written several references on his Facebook page to the two-year anniversary of his father’s death, noting he had been shot by a black man, reports the Wall Street Journal. He used racial slurs to describe the killer. England also made a reference to his fiancée’s death in January.