Tattoo Shops Adding Security

Thursday, March 20th 2008, 10:59 pm
By: News On 6

A shooting leaves its mark on Tulsa tattoo parlors.  Their friends were gunned down, but survived an armed robbery.  The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports that shooting has other tattoo shops taking up arms and beefing up security.

The shooting at Inner City Ink three weeks ago hit Tulsa's tattoo community hard.  Now, one shop owner is taking the matter of security into his own hands.  Leo Pittore has been in the business of turning flesh into art for 20 years.

"There's nothing else like it. It's addictive to get a tattoo. But, it's more addictive to give a tattoo," said tattoo artist Leo Pittore.

He's inked arms and other body parts from Daytona to Dallas.  But, he says he didn't expect to hear of friends gunned down at work.

"We're all pretty much an inner family here. We all know each other. We all hang out. It was a shock," said tattoo artist Leo Pittore.

Shock beaded with a pin-prick of fear when he realized who was behind the shooting at Inner City Ink.

"It's kinda spooky because the guys who robbed them were in this shop two or three days before, scoping out our shop," said tattoo artist Leo Pittore.

Since the shooting at Inner City Ink, Leo's Exotic Arts is keeping an eye on everything.  And, the safety changes don't end with surveillance cameras.  They've got an alarm system, new floodlights out front and the entire staff is taking a class to get licenses to carry a concealed weapon.

"We've got surveillance. Ya know, our parking lot is covered. We know everything that's going on around this building and in this building," said tattoo artist Leo Pittore.

That way Pittore and his staff can get back to the business of laying ink.

"Our clients feel safer. We feel safer. So, everybody has a good experience and has a good time. That's what it's about in here, having a good time and getting some nice artwork," said tattoo artist Leo Pittore.

Leo Pittore says others in the industry are following suit to protect themselves and their customers.

Find more stories on's Local News page.