Tulsa Murder Victim Mourned As Selfless Giver; Suspect On The Run

Thursday, June 20th 2019, 7:51 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Tulsa Police are searching for a man who they said is responsible for two shootings in Tulsa in less than 24 hours. Officers said Barton Vann is the man they are looking for.

The first shooting was near Jones Elementary on 15th and Sheridan Tuesday night. Police said Vann shot and killed Curtiss Gaines.

"He didn't need to go like this,” Kory Marsden said. “He was a really good person."

Police connected Vann to a second shooting just a few blocks away near 14th Street. Officers said the victim in the second shooting is recovering.

Marsden is grieving the loss of his friend and missing the qualities that made Gaines who he was.

"His selflessness. The fact that he would give for people who honestly, never seemed to give back to him,” Marsden said.

The two met working for a heating and cooling company in Tulsa and became friends.

Related Story: Tulsa Police Search For Suspect Involved In 2 Shootings In 24 Hours 

"He made the job a little better, working 12-hour shifts for that kind of company, it's hardcore. But he made it fun,” Marsden said.



Tulsa Police are working to find Vann and said he may be with a woman named Nicole Williams-Sittel.

“It kinda makes me sick that someone can take somebody's life who's not done anything wrong. Curtiss is a really good person, and then just keep going like that's a normal course of action in your day."

Marsden said he'll remember his friend as someone gave to others whenever he could.

"He was very friendly,” Marsden said. “You know, bear hugs. He literally -- he was just a personified grizzly bear."

Gaines was 33 years old.

Vann has been charged with shooting with intent to kill and possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony (AFCF). Williams-Sittel has been charged with accessory to a felony and possession of a firearm AFCF.

Note, these charges are only for the second shooting that happened on Wednesday. 

If you see Vann, call 911 immediately. If you have any information on the two shootings, call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS. You can remain anonymous.

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