Spike In Violent Crime Keeps Tulsa Homicide Detectives Busy

Monday, June 9th 2014, 6:59 pm
By: News On 6

Recently, there has been a spike in murders and shootings in Tulsa. In less than two weeks, there were five murders, 14 shootings and several stabbings. That's in addition to the beatings, suicides and missing persons reports the homicide squad also investigates.

With violent crimes on a rise, many homicide detectives feel like they're running on empty. They can't pinpoint one reason why all the violence has been on the rise, but they are hoping for a break.

Since the murder of 14-year-old April Montano, on May 29th, Tulsa police have worked four more murders. There's also been 14 shootings with intent to kill and 13 assaults with a deadly weapon.

5/29/2014 Related Story: Teen Shot In Head While Riding In Pickup Dies At Tulsa Hospital

Police said a couple of those victims probably won't make it either, driving up the murder rate even higher.

In Montano's case, they said the suspects fired shots at her family's truck, hoping to steal the family's four-wheelers. They said the murder in a Tulsa Walmart parking lot was because the suspects pulled a gun on a drug dealer and a death on a street happened when two men got into a fight over property.

6/2/2014 Related Story: One Person Is Dead, Another In Jail After Three Shot At East Tulsa Walmart

6/2/2014 Related Story: One Dead After Property Dispute Leads To North Tulsa Shooting

Police said one common factor is people are too quick to use guns to settle their differences.

"A lot of these are guns involved, people bringing guns to quarrels or arguments that wouldn't normally escalate into a murder," said Sergeant Dave Walker with the Tulsa Police Department.

Police said a couple of the recent shootings are connected, but they simply haven't had time to connect all the dots; and the most recent homicide has them baffled.

All they know about the victim is he recently lost his job and played his music loud, but they have no idea why men in masks would shoot into the victim's apartment.

6/9/2014 Related Story: Masked Suspects Run From Scene Of Tulsa Shooting Death

"The only thing we can do in the murder section is go out and find the killer as quickly as possible and make it known that's what we do," Walker said.

They've done exactly that, making arrests in all but the most recent murder.

They realize no one wants to wake up every morning and hear there's been another shooting, but say Tulsa is still a safe place for most people to live.

"When we look at it, we're not looking at the average citizen being targeted," said Walker.

The homicide squad is quick to say they're not making the arrests alone, it starts with patrol officers and includes the crime scene techs, the fugitive squad, the gang officers and the narcotics unit. It's a team effort and they're all putting in a lot of hours lately.