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Tulsa police claim shooting spree may have an been act of revenge

TULSA, Oklahoma, AP

Two men were arrested in a shooting rampage that left three people dead and terrorized Tulsa's black community, and police said one suspect may have been trying to avenge his father's shooting two years ago by a black man.

Police on Sunday identified both suspects as white, while all five victims in the rampage early Friday were black.

Police and the FBI said it is too soon to say whether the attacks in Tulsa's predominantly black north side were racially motivated. Police spokesman Jason Willingham said that investigators are considering many possible motives but based on Facebook postings, revenge appeared to be a factor.

In a Thursday update on Facebook that appeared to have been written by 19-year-old Jake England, he angrily blamed his father's death on a black man and used a racial slur. He said Thursday was the second anniversary of his father's death.

“It's hard not to go off,” given the anniversary and the death of his fiancee earlier this year, the posting said.

“It's apparent from the posting on the Facebook page that he had an ax to grind, and that was possibly part of the motive,” Willingham said. “If you read the Facebook post and see what he's accused of doing, you can see there's link between the two of them.”

The Facebook page had been taken down by Sunday afternoon.

A family friend, Susan Sevenstar, told The Associated Press that England was “a good kid” and “a good, hard worker,” who “was not in his right mind” after losing his father and the January suicide of his fiancee, with whom he'd recently had a baby.

“If anybody is trying to say this is a racial situation, they've got things confused,” said Sevenstar, who described England as Cherokee Indian. “He didn't care what your color was. It wasn't a racist thing.”

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This photo combo of images provided by the Tulsa Police Department via the Tulsa World shows Jacob England, left, and Alvin Watts. (AP/Tulsa Police Department/Tulsa World)



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