By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Police have made two arrests in last Friday's murder of Tulsa Memorial High School student Jacob Barnes. Barnes, 16, was killed when he got off a school bus in north Tulsa.
Two 16-year-old cousins are in custody in connection to the death of Jacob Barnes.
Detectives say a bright spot in this case has been the record-number of tips they received from young people, through text messages -- a trend detectives hope continues.
This story is filled with tragic news; a 16-year-old Memorial High school student is dead. A couple of other 16-year-olds are in jail, looking at who knows how much time behind bars if they're found guilty of accessory to the murder.
Records indicate Marco Darnell Ratliff was driving the gold Suburban that pulled up next to the victim, Jacob Barnes. Someone from inside that vehicle fired the fatal shots.
Records indicate his cousin, Quan Jimmy Ratliff, was in the front passenger seat during the shooting and hid the possible murder weapon, a .357 revolver. As it turned out, police were watching the house at the time and saw him do it.
Both attended Nathan Hale High School. Tulsa Police say the investigation is still ongoing and they expect additional arrests.
"Took some excellent police work and excellent involvement from the community to bring this thing to a close," said Sgt. Mike Huff, Tulsa Police Major Crimes Unit.
That community involvement came from an unexpected source and is the one bright spot in this tragedy. Police saw a huge increase in the number of Crime Stoppers tips and they came from young people in the form of text messages.
"We still had our share of problems with grownups in this case encouraging people not to talk and to see a teenager probably texting us from their class at school, which might be against the rules, but they're doing the right thing," said Sgt. Mike Huff.
Police got about 60 text tips and believe they came from about a half dozen different schools. Officers say they're proud of students who aren't going to put up with this violence and are using technology to try to work within the system.
"It's funny. Kids will text when they're sitting in the same room with each other, so that's great, whatever technology they feel comfortable with," said Sgt. Mike Huff.
People can still call Crime Stoppers at 596-COPS. Or send a text to CRIMES, which is 2-7-4-6-3-7. Begin your message with TIP-9-1-8.
You'll receive a pin number back as confirmation. That PIN number will be used to pay the reward. Just like the phone line, a state law guarantees the person giving the information will be kept anonymous.