North Tulsa Community Sees More Violence

Sunday, April 15th 2007, 10:16 pm
By: News On 6

It was only four weeks ago that a drive-by shooting in Crawford Park outraged the north Tulsa community. Eleven people were injured when a gunman opened fire on people gathered there, and someone in the crowd fired back. The incident has prompted several meetings where residents, church leaders and city officials have called for an end to the violence, but the News On 6's Chris Wright reports the problem may be far from being fixed.

"With everyone having a focus on protecting our kids, somehow it's not being done. Whatever is not being done, I want it fixed," said Leron West, grandfather of Crawford Park shooting victim.

Only four weeks later and only a few blocks away, a near riot erupted during a standoff at the Morning Star Apartments. Police had cornered murder suspect Rico Starks. As the standoff dragged on, a crowd began to swell nearby. Soon, more than 100 people joined the mob.

Tulsa Police had to call in more than 75 officers to deal with the crowd. Police say the bystanders were jumping on cars, vandalizing police vehicles, throwing rocks, and a shot was even fired from the crowd. The Special Operations Unit helped to disperse everyone, and Starks eventually surrendered to police.

"We are fortunate that no bystanders, officers, anybody was hurt," said Tulsa Police Officer Scott Walton. "It was a difficult task to take care with the few officers on hand at first."

While police did not have any answers as to why the situation escalated the way it did, Saturday's incident will certainly raise more questions about violence in north Tulsa.

Related stories:

3/17/2007 Gunman Still Being Sought Following Drive-by Shooting

03/18/2007 Park Attack Prompts Meeting

04/15/2007 Crowd Turns Violent During Tulsa Standoff