Concern over a possible hostage incident sparks evacuation of a Tulsa shopping center

Friday, January 2nd 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

What Tulsa Police first believed was a hostage situation at a north Tulsa barbershop turned out to be something less serious Friday afternoon. But officers had to shut down nearby streets and evacuate part of a shopping center before they learned that.

Officers went into "Masters of Hair" on North Lewis with their guns drawn after someone called 911 and said a man was holding employees at gunpoint. Investigators learned the suspect had already left.

Their biggest concern was keeping the public out of the potential line of fire. Twila Ratliff, nearby business owner: "There's police out here with guns, next thing we knew they were at the door and told us we had to evacuate the premises."

Tulsa Police say the incident was not a hostage situation after all, but instead appeared to be a group of men threatening one employee at the shop.