Police Identify Suspect Involved In Overnight Shooting At Tulsa International Airport

Wednesday, December 1st 2021, 4:43 pm

By: News On 6, Ashlyn Brothers


We have new information this evening about the man accused of getting into a shoot-out at the Tulsa Airport.

Records show 50-year-old Joseph Watson Jr. has been convicted twice for robbery. His most recent run-in with the law was last summer when he was convicted of indecent exposure and given a 5-year suspended sentence.

“It's quiet in here. You would swear nothing happened,” said Aaron Ogea.

Aaron Ogea said he travels all the time and feels like airport security is top-notch. Ogea was sad to learn about there was an overnight shooting here.

"Nothing surprises me anymore,” said Ogea. "I feel safe coming in here even knowing there was a shooting last night. Unfortunately, crazy people do crazy things."

We talked with a woman who describes what it was like moments after shots were fired. Kimberly Eaton-Anderson and her son feel differently.

"He said today when he woke up, he goes, 'I don't ever want to go to that airport again. He's 8. He's sharp. I'm sure we'll get through this," said Kimberly Eaton-Anderson.

They landed in Tulsa just before midnight and were waiting for a ride when the chaos started.

"I hear, ‘pow pow pow pow pow,’ and I see like flashes and for a second I'm like, "Oh my God" and my son goes, 'Momma, that was a machine gun,'" said Eaton-Anderson.

They saw others running back into the airport and took off running, as well. Eaton-Anderson said an officer yelled at them to take cover, so they hid in a men's bathroom alongside another family and began praying.

“We were in a back stall trying to get the kids quiet,” said Eaton-Anderson. “We just started whispering and praying and it was just terrifying.”

Anderson said she was texting with someone telling them to notify airport officials of where they were and was later told by that person that police had said to go downstairs.

"As we're going, we hear somebody again, 'This level isn't secure and so an airport worker shoved us in the elevator,’" said Eaton-Anderson.

They hid underneath the counters downstairs until a shuttle driver motioned them to come.

Eventually, they were taken to their car and allowed to leave.

Police said Watson had threatened to kill his wife and came to the airport to do that and wasn't deterred when he saw police and started shooting. They say he shot one officer in the vest and Watson was hit in the foot and taken into custody.

Both Watson and the officer were taken to the hospital to be checked out. The officer is now at home recovering. The wife of the shooter and her brother were not hit.

Andrew Pierini with TIA said this was an isolated incident and said it was quick thinking on everyone’s part.

"It was extremely frightening for not only passengers that were here within the terminal, as well as, you know the airline employees and other airport employees as well as our officers who bravely responded and were able to handle the situation so obviously a frightening situation but we're glad there was a good outcome. As good of an outcome as we could have hoped,” said Andrew Pierini, Chief Commercial Officer at TIA.

Pierini said two shuttles outside the airport were hit by bullets but thankfully no one inside was injured.

Eaton-Anderson said she was grateful to law enforcement and the airport employees who kept them safe. She plans to take her son to a counselor to process what happened.

This is a breaking news update. The original story can be found below.


Tulsa police are investigating after a man got into a shootout with airport police at Tulsa International Airport.

According to police, the shooting took place around midnight on Tuesday.

Officers say it all started after a woman and her brother were about to exit the airport after their flight from Houston.

The woman and her husband had gotten in an argument and he had threatened to kill her when she got back to Tulsa, police say. The woman informed airport police of the situation, and they decided to escort her and her brother to her car.

Police say as they were walking to the garage, the husband showed up and started shooting. Airport police chased the man to the garage and a gun battle broke out between the airport police and husband.

According to officers, one of the airport police officers was shot in the vest but is expected to recover from his injuries.

Officers say the husband was also shot in the foot but he is expected to be recover. Police say he will be arrested after he is released from the hospital. Police say the victim's cars were also hit during the gun battle.

Police say the shooter had three guns on him when he started firing at his wife and her brother as they were walking to the parking garage. According to officers, 11 people were involved in the scene. Two were shot, multiple people were in the line of fire, and at least two people were hit with pieces of plastic breaking off a bus that was hit by gunfire.

TPD says hearing this kind of call come out is something they never want to have.

"For me when it goes out as an active shooter it's probably one of our higher priority calls," said Capt. Jarrod Hart with Tulsa Police. "Actually being at the airport with as many innocent civilians walking around bodies that are moving around any time there is gunfire it's obviously going to be a major incident because of the potential of lives out here."

Both the woman and and her brother are now talking with investigators.


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