Shootout May Have Led To Death Of Tulsa Priest, Seminary Student

Monday, August 22nd 2011, 4:24 pm
By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa priest and a seminary student are dead after a weekend wreck that may have been indirectly caused by a shootout at a convenience store.

Police say a car with bullet holes in the side ran through a red light, slamming into the car with those two clergy members inside, killing them.

8/21/2011 Related Story: Two Men Killed In Overnight Tulsa Collision

The wreck, which happened early Sunday morning, killed two people, Father Jorge Gomez, and seminary student Stanley Kariuki.

"We're all very much in disbelief, and sorrow, the whole community over here," said Tulsa Priest Father Tim Davison.

Father Davison of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Tulsa knew the men, who were both 32.  He says Father Gomez had just been ordained July 1st, 2011, and was assigned to St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church August 5th, 2011.

"He enjoyed people. He was very much a people person, liked to socialize and get to know people, but he was very religious, he had a very strong faith life and prayer life," Father Davison said.

Stanley Kariuki was from Kenya, and had two more years of seminary training left before becoming ordained.

"Two less laborers in God's great harvest, and we need all the laborers we can get," Father Davison said.

He says the two men both had strong faith and a passion for serving others.

Investigators say the deaths happened when a woman ran a red light at 36th street North and Cincinnati, slamming into their car.

"We don't understand I don't think, I don't think anyone is going to give you an explanation for something like this, it's part of the mystery of God," Father Davison said.

One mystery that police looked into is whether a shooting at a nearby convenience store, led to the fatal wreck. Police say the driver that caused the wreck was trying to flee from a gunman, which may have caused her to run the red light.

Father Davison says it will take time to overcome the pain of losing two promising servants. But, he's hopeful great fruit can come from such tragedy.

"Maybe it will draw us all closer to God and to each other," he said. "Teaches us all that we have to be prepared, you can't take life for granted."

Funeral services for the victims are still pending.

Police haven't released the name of the woman who ran the light, because it's an ongoing shooting with intent to kill investigation.

They're not sure if charges will be filed in the wreck, because she was a victim in the shooting and feared for her life.