Gang Member Arrested For Fatal Shooting Has Violent Past
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police said a gang rivalry is behind the city's most recent murder. Records show the man arrested Thursday night was involved in a previous shooting, but didn't get any jail time.
Dezmen Smith is in jail for the murder of one man and shooting three others. Police said it's a feud between the 5 Trey Crips and the Hoover Crips, which is the largest gang in Tulsa.
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They said Smith and another man shot at 5 Trey Crips inside the barber shop and then, there was shooting back.
Police said the barber that was killed, Kenneth Liggins, was an innocent victim.
Records show Smith's street name is Dash and he's a known member of the 54th Street Hoover Crips.
Even though he's only 24 years old, he's had a number of run-ins with the law.
Records show he was charged for having drugs in 2009 and got a one year deferred sentence.
Then, in 2010, he was charged for gambling, but that case was dismissed. In 2011 he was charged for transporting a loaded gun; that case was dismissed because it needed more investigation.
Later that same year, Smith was charged with reckless conduct with a firearm. Again, that was dismissed, this time because the witness didn't show up for court.
In 2012, he was charged with hiding a gun after a shooting at a Walmart where someone was hit in the leg. Then charged with lying about it to police, even after he was caught with the gun in his car, and after ballistics showed it was the gun used in the shooting.
That time, he was given an eight year deferred sentence, which means he wouldn't have to go to jail as long as he wasn't around criminals, guns or broke the law until 2021.
Ten months later, however, he was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; but that case was also dismissed because the witness didn't show up for court.
Police said guns are often owned by the gang as a whole, not individuals, so they get used by lots of different members.
"We'll see the same shell casings from the same gun at different crime scenes, so it's one gun used by different people to commit the crime," said Tulsa Police Sergeant, Sean Larkin.
Police said it's common for gang members to hide weapons for each other and lie for each other.
They hate to get rid of guns because they're hard to come, by so they pass them around for gang members to use and then pass them off so they don't get caught with it.
"Not often times where they sleep because they know law enforcement is going to come looking so they hide it at their girlfriend's place or buddy's place or mom's place and the guns pass through several hands in the same gang." Larkin said.