Gunman In Tuesday's Fatal Shooting Had Lengthy Criminal Record


Wednesday, June 1st 2011, 5:31 pm
By: News On 6


Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Police say Billy Joe Hamons opened fire in a midtown Tulsa Walmart, shot and killed an innocent University of Tulsa student and shot at police Tuesday.

6/1/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Police ID Gunman In Tuesday's Fatal Shooting, Carjackings

News On 6 discovered Hamons had a lengthy record even before Tuesday's crime spree. Hamons just got out of prison last September, and he already has two outstanding warrants in two different counties.

Police say Hamons kidnapped a man, tried to carjack several drivers, and stole a van and a truck, before he crashed into a light pole and ended up dead.

Turns out those are all crimes he's been accused of before.

Hamons first felony convictions came in 1999 in Tulsa County for a string of counts including knowingly concealing stolen property and eluding a police officer. That got him four years in prison.

He was serving time in a Muskogee prison when he escaped in June of 2000. Two days later, he was accused of kidnapping a Haskell man, robbing him of his cash, tying his hands and feet with duct tape and taking his car.

Fifteen months later he pled guilty to escaping and he was convicted of the Wagoner county crimes in 2002. He was sentenced for 10 years for those crimes, but that was just tacked on to his previous sentence.

Hamons had been out of prison since September. At the time of his death, he had two outstanding warrants, one out of Muskogee County for not paying fines and another out of Craig County for shoplifting a cell phone.

Tulsa police say detectives were looking for him and that could have played a role in how Tuesday's tragic events unfolded.

"He knew likely when he was captured, he probably wasn't going to see the light of day," Jason Willingham, with Tulsa Police, said.

"He was going to be behind bars for several years. That's probably what led to this spree turning badly like it did."

Police are looking at Billy Joe Hamons in connection with several other robberies in Tulsa.

Related Stories:

6/1/2011 Tulsa Police Recover Van, Guns Connected To Tuesday's Deadly Shooting
6/1/2011 Gunman In Fatal Shooting Suspected In Other Tulsa Robberies
5/31/2011
TU Student, Gunman Dead After Tulsa Chase And Carjackings
5/31/2011 Tulsa Carjacking Victim To Gunman: 'Let Me Get My Baby'
5/31/2011 Customers Rattled When Gunman Opens Fire Inside Tulsa Walmart