Family Of Man Murdered On Christmas Eve Search For Answers


Friday, January 11th 2013, 10:54 pm
By: News On 6


A Tulsa family is searching for answers, after their loved one was shot and killed right before Christmas.

Shawn Banks was 20 years old when he was found dead at a Tulsa Apartment Complex.

Shawn's relatives say he was well liked, and they can't understand why someone who do this. They say his death came on the heels of him finding out that he would soon become a father.

It was just over an hour after police responded to a shooting at the Town Square Apartments that Shawn Banks' body was discovered.

Police say he was gunned down and are still trying to piece together information some two weeks later.

12/24/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police Identify Man Found Shot Dead Christmas Eve Morning

"There's really not a lot of leads in this case, some information has been given to the detectives," said Officer Leland Ashley.

Police say information in the Christmas Eve homicide has been sparse, partly because of a lack of cooperation from potential witnesses.

"What we see a lot of times is that individuals are reluctant, because there is fear of retaliation on their part, or they just don't want to get involved," Ashley said.

"I basically just want to see that justice get done for my son, because he was a good kid," said Latonja Banks, Shawn's mother.

Shawn's family is hoping their story will inspire someone to face their fear and step forward...

"He was not a gang member, nothing violent or anything. He grinned—any time you saw him, he was always grinning," said his grandmother Ernestine Hendricks.

Latonja Banks said he stayed out of trouble and spent most of his time on the basketball court.

"Basketball: morning, noon and night, that's all he ever did," she said.

But she said his priorities were about to change. He had just learned that he was going to be a father for the first time.

"He has something else on the way that's gonna remind me of him," Latonja said.

A daughter growing up without her father is tough for Banks' family, but they say they lean on each other and their faith to get through.

"Because without him we couldn't hold it together. We just kinda hold each other up, but with God's help," Hendricks said.

And they said they rely on the hope that someone will lead police to his killer, putting to rest unanswered questions, even if it doesn't ease the pain.

"It's hard, it's hard. I don't know if my holidays will ever be the same," Latonja said.

Police say they still don't have a motive in this case and are still searching for anything that could help catch the gunman.

If you know something that can help police, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.