Suspect Ambushes Tulsa Murder Victim In Apartment Parking Lot, Police Say


Thursday, April 25th 2019, 6:55 am
By: Amy Slanchik


Tulsa police are investigating a shooting that they say left a man dead Wednesday night. 

Officers say Ryan Johnson, 28, was shot in the parking lot of the Brightwaters apartments located near 23rd Street and Southwest Boulevard around 9 p.m. April 24. They say he died after being taken to the hospital. 

Police have arrested Travonta Ashley on a first-degree murder complaint. Officers say Ashley shot Johnson in the back with a shotgun after a fight about the woman Johnson was with moments before the shooting.

"From what we're able to piece together from the witnesses at the scene, the victim was inside his car and the suspect went up to the car, shoved the gun inside and pulled the trigger," said Sgt. Brandon Watkins, Tulsa Police Department.

"The suspect had children with the woman, and the woman was now dating the victim," Watkins said.

Police arrested Ashley after finding him walking outside the apartment complex. Watkins said Ashley has a history of domestic situations with the woman.

"She has five kids," he said. "You know, they're all gonna be touched by this."

They say Ashley is currently serving a 10-year deferred sentence for a Muskogee County crime.

Watkins said people at the apartment complex shouldn't be concerned going forward because the crime was "focused on one person."

Officers say Ashley "ambushed" Johnson with a shotgun as the victim and the woman arrived at an apartment.

"He obviously wasn't doing anything," said Sgt. Brandon Watkins, TPD Homicide. "He was dating someone, and it's a pointless way to die."

Tulsa has had 20 homicides so far this year - compared to 11 this time last April. Watkins says there is no specific reason for the higher number this year.