Tulsa Police Release Names Of Drivers Involved In High Speed Chase
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police arrested several suspected gang members after a high speed chase in Tulsa on Monday.
Osage SkyNews 6 flew overhead as the chase went through the city during Monday's evening rush-hour. It ended in the parking lot at Promenade Mall.
Police said the pursuit and arrest was a textbook, highly coordinated effort to get those suspects in custody.
Like many who saw all the police cars, one right after the other, pull into the Promenade Mall parking lot, Chris Shew at the nearby Firestone store wanted a closer look.
"I could see flashing red and blue lights as far as I could see, and I said, ‘hey, there's a car almost pulling right up to my front door.'"
You can see by a video he shot, officers told him to get back inside for his own safety.
"Instead of going that way, I should have been going that way. Should've gone to the back room and hidden with the tires or something."
Only later, did Shew realize the potential danger. Information gained by the Tulsa Police gang unit about two Hispanic gangs feuding led officers to try to pull over two cars linked to gang activity.
Sergeant Sean Larkin, said, "Late last week, we had one particular house that these guys, that were arrested last night, were associated with. It was actually shot up, and about three or four hours, the gang that they're feuding with was shot up, so we obviously knew there was retaliation going back and forth."
One driver immediately stopped and 20-year-old Alejandro Lopez and a teenager were arrested.
The other driver took off on Yale between Pine and Apache, leading officers on a 20-minute chase that ended at the Promenade Mall parking lot at 41 and Yale when the four people inside gave up.
"One of them said he looked back and saw the police officers as well as the K-9's there and realized their odds weren't good so they ended up giving up."
Three guns tossed from the car during the pursuit were recovered, and 24-year-old Eric Suarez and three teenagers were arrested.
"There's no doubt the officers last night stopped a shooting at the very least from happening, if not a possible homicide," Larkin said.
Shew said, "Tulsa police did a fabulous job."
Investigators said Eric Suarez faces a felony charge of eluding an officer, and both Suarez and Lopez are charged with transporting a loaded firearm.
Jail records show Suarez is being held on a $15,200 bond, and Lopez on a $1,300 bond.
Police said the teens, including one who just turned 15 two weeks ago, were laughing about the incident in the police car after they were arrested.