Friends React To Skiatook Shotgun Rampage

Friday, November 10th 2006, 9:59 am
By: News On 6

Friends and family members came to comfort the survivors of three men who were gunned down by a neighbor over a property-line dispute, in Skiatook Thursday.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says there's still really nothing to explain why it escalated to that point.

Friends of the victims say 61 year old Howard Hawthorne had been arguing with them over the property-line off and on for months. But sheriff's deputies who responded to one of those arguments an hour before the shooting say Hawthorne appeared reasonably calm and left.

That changed, witnesses say, when Hawthorne got on his riding lawn mower, returned to the victims property and started firing away with a shotgun. They say he killed 44 year old Anthony Graham first. They say he then chased down and shot Graham's stepson 24 year old Joshua LeFort, and a family friend, 47 year old Duane Goodwin.

The Sheriff's Office says Hawthorne then climbed back on his riding lawnmower, and shot and killed himself as Skiatook Police pulled up to the scene. They say the carnage happened in only about 90 seconds.

“I just can't imagine what goes through someone's head. They just snap like that. Anthony wasn't the type of person you would fight with," said friend Katrina Graham.

The Sheriff's Office says they can find no past record of violence or disturbances from Hawthorne. We asked if he'd had any history of mental or emotional problems, and they say they can find no indication of that.