Tulsa Equality Center Triumphs Over Hate Months After Attack
TULSA, Oklahoma - Nearly eight months since it was vandalized, leaders at Tulsa's equality center said they are prepared for the worst.
New safety measures are in place after someone shot up the building in March.
Whoever shot more than a dozen bullets into the windows and door at the Oklahomans for Equality building, 621 East 4th Street, still hasn't been caught.
Police said the case is inactive since detectives haven't had any new leads, but leaders said they are taking a proactive stance when it comes to security.
"That particular day had really caught us off guard," said Toby Jenkins, executive director at Oklahomans for Equality.
It was all caught on camera. You see a white truck drive by, firing 14 shots into the front glass.
"We had to have counselors come in. We had facilitators who canceled their programs," Jenkins said.
The bullet holes are a constant reminder of hate.
"We had a lot of our older adults who did not feel safe for several months after," Jenkins said.
So Jenkins decided it was time for upgrades.
The historic 1920s building had what's called 'impact glass" at the time.
"It didn't stop bullets, but it did slow them down enough so it didn't shatter," Jenkins said.
Now, crews have installed a three-inch bullet-resistant glass.
"Since the center was vandalized in March, they also stepped up security by adding new high definition cameras with enhanced vision," Jenkins said. "We now can zoom in and capture images if we have to identify someone."
The same day the center was attacked, a man walked in yelling homosexual slurs, saying he wished they were dead.
Three other death threats have been delivered to their mailbox.
"They said 'we're going to kill you' or 'we want you dead,'" Jenkins said.
But that hasn't stopped them from their mission. Instead it's opened new doors.
"We had this explosion and surge of people who came to us who didn't know we even existed," Jenkins said.
And with $30,000 in donations pouring in from across the world. The real message? Love wins.
"When you have elected officials and faith leaders and high school groups donate to new windows at the Equality Center, that's evidence that Tulsa is better than this act of hate," Jenkins said.
If you have any information about who shot at the building in March, call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.