COLUMBUS, Indiana — (DMN) – Blair Kiel, a backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts has died. He was 50. He died early Sunday afternoon at a Columbus, Ind., hospital after becoming ill at an Easter gathering at a relative’s home, according to the Chicago Tribune and WISH-TV of Indianapolis. Bartholomew County authorities confirmed his death and said it was due to natural causes. WISH reported that Kiel had a heart attack, but county coroner Allen Smith told the Tribune it was too soon to know for certain. An autopsy was done and toxicology results will be available in four to six weeks.
Kiel played in one game for the Packers in 1988 and rejoined them in 1990 and 1991 at the end of a brief NFL career. He started two games for Green Bay, losing both, to Detroit at Lambeau Field on Dec. 22, 1990, and to Dallas at Milwaukee County Stadium on Oct. 6, 1991. The former Notre Dame star hadn’t played for almost three seasons when he was pressed into service by the Packers late in the 1990 season. He almost rallied them to victories twice that year but threw a fourth-down incompletion in the red zone in a 20-14 loss to Seattle at County Stadium on Dec. 9, then an interception in the red zone against the Lions.
Kiel started his pro career in 1984 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who selected him in the 11th round of that year’s draft. He played for the Indianapolis Colts in 1986 and 1987, splitting his time between quarterbacking and punting. In eight career games for the Packers, he completed 80 of 135 passes for 865 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for one touchdown. In recent years, Kiel had several run-ins with police. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving in Noblesville, Ind., in August 2010. He also was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and domestic battery at Victory Field in Indianapolis in September 2009. In March 2009, he was charged with invasion of privacy. Protective orders had been filed against Kiel at least three times at the time of the Indianapolis arrest. Kiel was the uncle of Notre Dame freshman quarterback Gunner Kiel.
Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were arrested Sunday in connection with shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
TULSA, Oklahoma — (DMN/CNN) – Police are investigating whether the shootings of five African-Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were a hate crime after the weekend arrests of two white suspects in the case, local authorities said Sunday. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, are scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning. Tulsa police arrested them early Sunday after a series of tips that led investigators to England’s burned pickup, a vehicle that matched a description reported at the crime scenes, according to their arrest reports.
The shootings left three dead and two wounded. Both suspects are charged with three counts of murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill, police said. “We’re going to explore any possible motives,” Police Chief Chuck Jordan told reporters Sunday afternoon. But he said the investigation was still going on, and Jim Finch, the head of the FBI’s Oklahoma office, said Sunday that it was “premature” to talk about hate crimes. “We have yet to analyze all the information to understand the motivations of these subjects in this case,” Finch said.
England had written a racial slur on his Facebook page in a post marking the anniversary of his father’s 2010 killing. But the entry also noted his girlfriend’s recent suicide, and a man at England’s home told CNN, “You don’t know what this family’s been through.” The shootings began about 1 a.m. Friday in predominantly black neighborhoods in north Tulsa. The first victim, 49-year-old Dannaer Fields, died at a hospital. Two others were shot just three minutes later, but survived and were released from the hospital Sunday, Jordan said. Another person was shot and killed about 2 a.m., while the third victim was found around 8 a.m. next to a funeral home. Jordan identified the other two victims as William Allen and Bobby Clark.
Investigators have found a weapon they believe was involved the case, said Tulsa Police Maj. Walter Evans, who led the task force assembled to probe the shootings. But he said investigators did not yet know which of the suspects may have fired the fatal shots. Nor was the relationship between England and Watts clear Sunday. Evans said they were not related, describing them only as “associates.” Police put out an appeal for tips over the weekend, and there was an “outpouring” after a Saturday afternoon news conference, Evans said. Those tips led to England, with one reporting that he was planning to burn a white pickup truck that had been identified at the shooting scenes, according to the arrest reports.
Police found the burned vehicle, registered to England, on Saturday evening, leading them to put him under surveillance and get warrants to arrest him and search his home. England and Watts were arrested a few blocks away from England’s residence shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the reports. “In my 23 years of law enforcement, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any crime as heinous as this,” Evans said. “But at the same time, I don’t think I’ve seen such an outpouring of support and cooperation from the community.”
Police reports listed the same address for England and Watts, a home in a rural area on the northern outskirts of Tulsa. An arriving couple who identified themselves only as England’s relatives said England’s father had been shot to death in April 2010, and England had been left to care for his 6-month-old child after his girlfriend shot and killed herself in front of him a few months ago. “His mind couldn’t take it anymore, I guess,” the man who called himself England’s uncle told CNN, adding, “I guess it just snapped his mind.” Earlier, others at the home hurled abuse at a CNN crew that approached the driveway.
One of England’s neighbors, 83-year-old Synita Bowers, said England “is a very nice young man, very well mannered. “He would help me over here,” Bowers said. “When his dogs turn over my trash cans, he comes and cleans it up — very nice young man.” But on England’s Facebook page, a friend warned him not to “do anything stupid” after a Friday night message that read “It just mite be the time to call it quits.”
“I hate to say it like that but I’m done if something does happen tonite be ready for another funeral later,” England wrote. And on Thursday afternoon, he noted that it was the second anniversary of his father’s death “at the hands of a f***ing nigger.” “It’s hard not to go off between that and sheran I’m gone in the head,” he wrote, referring to his girlfriend. The Facebook page was taken down Sunday afternoon. Authorities would not comment Sunday on any possible link between Friday’s shootings and the death of England’s father. “When five black people appear to be shot by a white person, then the immediate reaction is there is a racial component,” Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett told CNN. “If that’s how the prosecution comes out, we certainly support and will help in any manner, shape or form to bring an end to that point of view.”
About 30 representatives from four law enforcement agencies — the Tulsa police, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI — had been working around the clock looking for those responsible for the shootings. News of the arrests came as a relief to residents, many of whom had changed their daily habits since the shooting. “A lot of people in my community were afraid that they couldn’t go outside. They didn’t know if they could even go to church, didn’t know if they could go to the grocery store,” City Councilman Jack Henderson said. Now, he said, Tulsans “can feel they are safe” — and he said he hoped the cooperation they gave police could encourage others to come forward with information on other still-unsolved killings. “I get a feeling from my community that there’s going to be a better relationship with the Police Department,” he said. “The Police Department has shown they can solve crimes, they can solve them fast.”
CBS News legend Mike Wallace, the “60 Minutes” pit-bull reporter whose probing, brazen style made his name synonymous with the tough interview, died last night. He was 93 and passed peacefully surrounded by family members at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Conn., where he spent the past few years. “All of us at CBS News and particularly at ’60 Minutes’ owe so much to Mike. Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn’t be a ’60 Minutes,’ said Jeff Fager, chairman CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes.”
As the journalism world reacted to the iconic newsman’s passing, the AP’s David Bauder noted the “60 Minutes” journalist’s reputation as a pitiless inquisitor was so fearsome that the words “Mike Wallace is here to see you” were the most dreaded words in the English language; capable of reducing an interview subject to a shaking, sweating mess. “Wallace didn’t just interview people,” wrote Bauder on Sunday. “He interrogated them. He cross-examined them. Sometimes he eviscerated them. His weapons were many: thorough research, a cocked eyebrow, a skeptical “Come on” and a question so direct sometimes it took your breath away.”
“He loved it,” Fager said Sunday. “He loved that part of Mike Wallace. He loved being Mike Wallace. He loved the fact that if he showed up for an interview, it made people nervous. … He knew, and he knew that everybody else knew, that he was going to get to the truth. And that’s what motivated him.” “It is with tremendous sadness that we mark the passing of Mike Wallace. His extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence. His loss will be felt by all of us at CBS,” said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corporation.
A special program dedicated to Wallace will be broadcast on “60 Minutes” next Sunday, April 15. Wallace made “60 Minutes” compulsively watchable, television’s first newsmagazine that became appointment viewing on Sunday nights. His last interview, in January 2008, was with Roger Clemens on his alleged steroid use. Slowed by a triple bypass later that month and the ravages of time, he retired from public life. During the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, he asked Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini — then a feared figure — what he thought about being called “a lunatic” by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Khomeini answered by predicting Sadat’s assassination.
Late in his career, he interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin, and challenged him: “This isn’t a real democracy, come on!” Putin’s aides tried to halt the interview; Putin said he was the president, he’ll decide what to do. Wallace’s late colleague Harry Reasoner once said, “There is one thing that Mike can do better than anybody else: With an angelic smile, he can ask a question that would get anyone else smashed in the face.” Wallace played a huge role in “60 Minutes”‘ rise to the top of the ratings to become the number-one program of all time, with an unprecedented 23 seasons on the Nielsen annual top 10 list – five as the number-one program.
He announced he would step down to become a “correspondent emeritus” in the spring of 2006, but Wallace continued to land big interviews for “60 Minutes.” His last appearance on television, on January 6, 2008, was a sit-down on “60 Minutes” with accused steroid user Roger Clemens that made front-page news. His August 2006 interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won him his 21st Emmy at the age of 89. He was also granted the first post-prison interview with assisted suicide advocate and convicted killer Dr. Jack Kevorkian for a June 2007 “60 Minutes” broadcast. After a successful triple bypass operation in late January 2008, he retired from public life.
Decades before his “60 Minutes” success, Wallace was already known to millions. In the early days of broadcasting, with no line between news and entertainment, Wallace did both. In the 1940s and ’50s, he appeared on a variety of radio and television programs, first as narrator/announcer, then as a reporter, actor and program host. On his first network television news program, ABC’s “The Mike Wallace Interview,” he perfected his interviewing style that he first tried on a local New York television guest show called “Night Beat.” Created with producer Ted Yates, “Night Beat” became an instant hit that New Yorkers began referring to as “brow beat.” Wallace’s relentless questioning of his subjects proved to be a compelling alternative to the polite chit-chat practiced by early television hosts.
Years later, CBS News producer Don Hewitt remembered that hard-charging style when creating his pioneering news magazine, “60 Minutes”; he picked Wallace to be a counterweight to the avuncular Harry Reasoner. On September 24, 1968, Wallace and Reasoner introduced “60 Minutes” to the 10:00 p.m. timeslot, where it ran every other Tuesday. It failed to draw large audiences. But critics praised it, awards followed, and after seven years on various nights, “60 Minutes” went to 7:00 p.m. Sunday and began its rise.
It made the top 20 in 1977 and the top 10 in 1978, then became the number-one program in 1980 – all with a tough-talking Wallace center stage. The rising interest in Wallace and “60 Minutes” grew partly out of the Watergate scandal. Wallace’s interrogations of John Erlichman, G. Gordon Liddy and H.R. Haldeman whetted the appetites of news junkies who continued to tune in to see Wallace joust with other scoundrels. Before long, he was a household name. In 1983, Coors beer took ads out in major newspapers after Wallace’s “60 Minutes” investigation found little truth to rumors the company was racist. “The Four Most Dreaded Words in the English Language: Mike Wallace is Here,” ran atop ads boasting that the firm had passed muster with the “grand inquisitor” himself.
Each week, “60 Minutes” viewers could expect the master interviewer to ask the questions they wanted answered by the world’s leaders and headliners. Wallace did not disappoint them, often revealing more than the public ever hoped to see. He got the stoic Ayatollah Khomeini to smileduring the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 when he asked him what he thought about being called “a lunatic” by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The Ayatollah answered by correctly predicting that Sadat would be assassinated. The same year, Johnny Carson called Wallace “cruel” during an interview after Wallace asked, “It takes one to know one?” when the late-night star took pity on an alcoholic newsmaker. Her fans protested when Wallace brought Barbra Streisand to the emotional edge in 1991 by revealing that her own mother had told him that Barbara “was too busy to get close to anyone.”
Wallace was also known for pioneering the “ambush” interview, presenting his unsuspecting interviewee with evidence of malfeasance – often obtained by hidden camera – then capturing the stunned reaction. Two of the more famous exposes in this genre that used hidden cameras were investigations of a phony cancer clinic and a laboratory offering Medicaid kickbacks to doctors. Presenting interviewees with their own misdeeds became a “60 Minutes” staple, but the hidden camera and ambush were later shunned as they were widely imitated, and even Wallace admitted their use was to “create heat, rather than light.”
No story generated more controversy than Wallace’s 1998 interview with euthanasia practitioner Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Wallace and “60 Minutes” took heat for broadcasting Kevorkian’s own tape showing him lethally injecting a man suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The death of Thomas Youk broadcast on “60 Minutes” made headlines and the editorial pages, generating discussion about euthanasia for weeks. The tape also served as evidence to convict Kevorkian of murder. In another controversy, Wallace’s 1995 interview of Jeffrey Wigand, the highest-ranking tobacco executive to turn whistle-blower, was held back for fear of a multi-billion dollar lawsuit that could have bankrupted CBS. The interview, in which Wigand revealed tobacco executives knew and covered up the fact that tobacco caused disease, was eventually broadcast on “60 Minutes” in February 1996. The incident became the subject of the film, “The Insider” (in which Wallace was played by Christopher Plummer).
Wallace was also at the center of one of the biggest libel suits ever, threatening his journalistic integrity and ultimately plunging him into a clinical depression. Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded the U.S. military in Vietnam, sued CBS and Wallace for a 1982 “CBS Reports” documentary alleging the general had deceived the American people by undercounting the enemy in Vietnam. The $120 million suit against “The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception,” went to trial in 1984 and lasted months before Westmoreland withdrew it just before Wallace was to testify in early 1985. ,/P>
The grueling test became a defining moment in Wallace’s life. Medication and therapy helped him overcome his initial depression and a later relapse, and he became a heroic example to fellow sufferers, speaking publicly for the rest of his life to de-stigmatize the disorder. He revealed years later to colleague Morley Safer in a “60 Minutes” special on his life that he had attempted suicide during the lawsuit crisis.
In another celebrated case that took 12 years to play out, Wallace’s producer Barry Lando was sued for $44 million by Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert. The libel suit against Wallace’s 1973 “60 Minutes” report, “The Selling of Colonel Herbert,” caused a precedent-setting Supreme Court ruling allowing lawyers to question the thoughts and opinions of reporters. Initially, CBS lawyers argued successfully in a New York federal appeals court that Lando could not be questioned that way as it would infringe on the editorial process protected under the First Amendment. But the Supreme Court in 1979 reversed it, ruling that Herbert was entitled to know the producer’s mindset, as it was crucial to proving malice. Nevertheless, the report was accurate in its main elements, and, in 1986, Herbert v. Lando was thrown out.
The road to “60 Minutes” began for Wallace when his son, Peter, died in a hiking accident in Greece in 1962. Wallace’s jobs in broadcasting then included entertainment programs and commercials in addition to reporting, but he decided then that he would devote his career to journalism alone to honor Peter, a Yale student who aspired to a writing career. Wallace’s other son, Chris, became a journalist and is currently host of “Fox News Sunday.”
Leaving CBS in 1955, his career through the early 1960s became a hodgepodge of appearances for the tireless broadcaster, who was seen on all three networks and several independent stations. He even starred briefly in a Broadway production of “Reclining Figure,” and played himself in Elia Kazan’s celebrated film about the media, “A Face in the Crowd.” He did the TV quiz show “The Big Surprise” and the radio show “Weekday,” but he never lost sight of his true calling. It was also during this time that he began “Night Beat,” anchored the original Peabody-Award winning series “Biography,” anchored and reported several documentaries, including “The Race for Space,” and headed up the news department of local New York station WNTA. Then on Channel 13, WNTA was the first television station in the U.S. to broadcast a half-hour news program; it was called “News Beat” and Wallace anchored it. He also continued “The Mike Wallace Interview” on WNTA in 1959. [The ABC Network, the program's previous home, had dropped it because it became too controversial.]
Myron Leon Wallace was born in Brookline, Mass., on May 9, 1918. He attended Brookline High School and was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1939 with a B.A. degree in liberal arts. He became acquainted with radio at the college station and, after graduation, a professor helped him land his first job as an announcer and “rip-and-read” reporter for WOOD-WASH, a Grand Rapids, Mich. radio station. Wallace authored several books, including: “Mike Wallace Asks,” a compilation of interviews from “Night Beat” and “The Mike Wallace Interview” published in 1958; his memoir, “Close Encounter,” co-authored with Gary Paul Gates, in 1984; and “Between You and Me,” also with Gates, in 2005.
Besides his 21 Emmy Awards, Wallace was the recipient of five DuPont-Columbia journalism and five Peabody Awards, and was the Paul White Award winner in 1991, the highest honor given by the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award grand prize and television first prize in 1996. In June of 1991, he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Wallace is survived by his wife, the former Mary Yates; his son, Chris; a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora; two stepsons, Eames and Angus Yates; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. At the family’s request, donations can be made in Wallace’s name to Waveny Care Center, 3 Farm Rd., New Canaan, Conn.
Remembering Mike Wallace 1918-2012
For half a century, he took on corrupt politicians, scam artists and bureaucratic bumblers. His visits were preceded by the four dreaded words: Mike Wallace is here. Wallace took to heart the old reporter’s pledge to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. He characterized himself as “nosy and insistent.” So insistent, there were very few 20th century icons who didn’t submit to a Mike Wallace interview. He lectured Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, on corruption. He lectured Yassir Arafat on violence. He asked the Ayatollah Khoumeini if he were crazy.
He traveled with Martin Luther King (whom Wallace called his hero). He grappled with Louis Farrakhan. And he interviewed Malcolm X shortly before his assassination. He was no stranger to the White House, interviewing his friends the Reagans . . . John F. Kennedy . . . Lyndon Johnson . . . Jimmy Carter. Even Eleanor Roosevelt. Plus all those remarkable characters: Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Carson, Luciano Pavarotti, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Salvador Dali, Barbra Streisand. His take-no-prisoners style became so famous he even spoofed it with comedian Jack Benny.
It’s hard to believe, but when Wallace was born in 1918 there wasn’t even a radio in most American homes, much less a TV. As a youth, Wallace said, he was “an overachiever. I worked pretty hard. Played a hell of a fiddle.” At the University of Michigan, where his parents hoped he’d become a doctor or lawyer, he got hooked instead on radio. And by 1941, Mike was the announcer on “The Green Hornet.” “My family didn’t know what to make of it – an announcer?” he recalled. He was soon the hardest-working announcer in broadcasting.
When television arrived in the 1950s, Wallace was everywhere . . . variety shows, game shows, dramas, commercials. But it was an interview show called “Nightbeat,” first broadcast in 1956, that Wallace remembered fit him like custom-made brass knuckles. “We decided to ask the irreverent question, the abrasive question, the who-gives-a-damn question.” Some, like labor leader Mike Quill, had never been spoken to that way. “Go ahead and ask your stupid questions,” he retorted. Neither had mobster Mickey Cohen, whom Wallace asked, “How many men have you killed, Mickey?”
So when “60 Minutes” was born in 1968, Wallace brought with him his “Nightbeat” persona, and contributed 40 years’ worth of nosiness, impertinence, and, of course, drama. Mike loved to mix it up. With producers, editors, even his fellow correspondents. “I mean, we were colleagues and competitors at the same time,” Wallace recalled with Morley Safer. “And so, when I wanted to do a story, and you wanted to do a story, and it’s the same story . . . ” “And I come into the office the next day,” added Safer, “and you’re out of town doing the story!” But beneath the confident, even cocky exterior, Mike had his demons. Three times over the years, he was treated for severe depression, and revealed a few years back that he once tried to end it all with an overdose of sleeping pills.
“Did you try to commit suicide at one point?” Safer asked. “I’ve never said this before. Yeah. I tried,” he replied. There are those who think that, thanks to his wife Mary, Mike mellowed a bit in recent years. But as the specter of retirement bore down, Mike fought it with customary defiance. When asked whether it was time for him to “pack it in” and reflect, he replied, “Reflect about what? Give me a break. Reflect. What am I going to reflect about?” It was 65 years from Mike’s first appearance on camera – a World War II film for the Navy – to his last television appearance, a “60 Minutes” interview with Roger Clemens, the baseball star trying to fight off accusations of steroid use.
It’s strange, but for such a tough guy, Mike’s all-time favorite interview was the one with another legend, pianist Vladimir Horowitz. The two of them, forces of nature both: Sly, manic, egos rampant. For Mike – a red, white and blue kind of guy – Horowitz played “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” It almost brought tears to the toughest guy on television. “It’s astonishing what you learn and feel and see along the way,” Wallace said. “That’s why a reporter’s job, as you know, is such a joy.
If Edward R. Murrow was the foundation that CBS News was built on and Walter Cronkite the network franchise then Mike Wallace was the network’s icon. An inspiration to this journalist and countless others over the decades, I watched, listened and learned continually amazed by his technique that frequently had people telling him things they likely would not have told anyone else. Mike Wallace was a genius at the interview and getting the story others struggled for. Deepest condolences to his family.
TULSA, Oklahoma — (DMN/CNN) – Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma arrested two men early this morning in connection with a deadly spate of random shootings in Tulsa that had residents on edge. About 30 representatives from four law enforcement agencies — the Tulsa police, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI — had been working round-the-clock looking for the person that authorities say killed three people and wounded two others in shooting attacks early Friday.
Police identified the arrested men as Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32. They were taken into custody from a home in Tulsa. “We’re not exactly sure what their relationship is to another; whether they are friends or extended family members,” said Capt. Jonathan Brooks said. The men did not offer any resistance, he said. The pair will be charged with three counts of murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill, the department said. Detectives were interrogating the two men Sunday morning and did not yet know their motive. “It took a lot of work, a lot of collaborations between several different agencies, and a lot of help from the community,” Brooks said, about what led them to the men.
The news will undoubtedly come as relief to residents, many of whom had changed their daily habits since the shooting. Just blocks from where two of the shootings occurred in the predominantly black neighborhoods in north Tulsa, Philip Hargett moved his trash cans from the side of his home to the front so he would never have his back to the street. “It’s going to be a couple of days for all of us to get over this,” Hargett told CNN affiliate KOKI in Tulsa on Saturday night. His wife, Migdalia, said the shootings “scare the daylights out of me.”
Venecia Williams, a mother and a grandmother who lives in the area, said she was afraid because she just didn’t know what might happen next. “That many shootings in one night?” she said. “That’s quite a concern.” After the shooting, a survivor described the suspect as a white man, driving an “older” white pickup truck, said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan. Both England and Watts are white. All the victims were black. Brooks, the police captain, said such a truck had been spotted at least three of the shooting sites around the time of the attacks. It has been recovered.
Alvin Watts (left) and Jake England (right). (Photos from Facebook)
Police now believe that both England and Watts were in the truck at the same time during the shootings, Brooks said. “It appeared to have been ditched,” he said. The first shooting occurred at 1:03 a.m. Friday. That victim, 49-year-old Dannaer Fields, died at a hospital. Three minutes later, two other people were shot, authorities said. One of them “pretty close to the (gunman’s) vehicle and the other … a little further away,” said Brooks, the police captain. Those two were initially in critical condition but, by Saturday evening, were expected to survive, he said. Then, just before 2 a.m., another person was shot and killed.
The body of a third person was found around 8 a.m. next to a funeral home in a more commercial district, though Brooks said police believe he was shot much earlier. Police have not begun ballistics tests to determine whether the same gun was used in all the shootings. George Riley, the funeral director at Jack’s Memory Chapel, said he was shocked that one of the shootings played out virtually on his doorstep. “I consider it a war zone,” Riley, a Vietnam War veteran, told KOKI. “I don’t want to say it’s scary, but it can be scary.” In addition to Fields, Jordan identified the other two victims as William Allen and Bobby Clark. “It appears all the victims were out walking or in the yard,” Brooks said. “This (happened in) a residential neighborhood, predominantly single-family dwellings, except for the last victim.”
The Rev. Warren Blakney, a pastor at a city church and president of the NAACP’s Tulsa branch, said the shootings could well prove to be hate crimes given that they happened in a predominantly black neighborhood. “For a white male to come that deep into that area and to start indiscriminately shooting, that lends itself for many to believe that it probably was a hate crime,” Blakney told CNN. Brooks said one survivor recalled how “the suspect drives up to him, asks … for directions and shoots him for no reason.” There is no indication the shooter used a racial slur or said anything else that might indicate his motive, according to police.
Jordan stopped short of calling it a hate crime, saying “it’s just not time for us to say that.” “Right now, I’m more worried about three of my citizens being murdered,” the chief said. “And if it takes us in a direction of a hate crime, that’s certainly where we’ll go and we’ll prosecute him for that as well.” As for the arrest, Brooks said the department wanted to publicize it as quickly as possible for a reason: “”We wanted to get the word out now so that when people woke up this Easter Sunday morning, they’ll know that Tulsa is a little bit safer place.”