On Monday, 19-year-old Jake England and 32-year-old Alvin Watts admitted to the shooting of five people in Tulsa over the weekend. The two men were roommates. According to CNN, police say that the two men gunned down strangers in four different locations in a section of Tulsa that is predominantly African-American. Authorities tell CBS that England confessed to shooting three people while Watts admitted to shooting two. Three victims are dead, while the other two survived. All five victims were of African-American descent, but authorities are still deciding whether the crime was racially motivated.
Fox News says the reason behind the shooting could be linked to the death of a suspect’s father. Two years ago, England’s father was fatally shot by a black man, who had threatened to break into his daughter’s home. Police say that England may have killed for vengeance.
A former employer of England tells NPR that England started to carry a gun after the death of his father and often bragged about it. The day before the shootings, England had updated his Facebook status, lamenting his father’s death: “Today is two years that my dad has been gone, shot by an F-ing N. It's hard not to go off between that and Sheran.” Friends of England say that his life had been going down a downward spiral every since his father’s death. Just a couple months ago, England’s fiancé, Sheran had killed herself, leaving him to take care of their 3-month old son, Jake Jr.
The LA Times says that according to Watts’ arrest report, he killed two of three victims. But his brother, Gene Watts, tells CNN that his brother moved in with England in February, and was influenced by England. He tells reporters that him and his brother grew up in the “ghetto” and grew up with “black brothers” and “black sisters.”
“It was a machismo thing,” said Gene. “[Alvin] just wanted to keep up. He’s 5’2’’ and 100 pounds, he had a bad ‘little-guy’s complex.’”
The two men face three counts of first-degree murder, as well as count of shooting with intent to kill and a count of possession of a firearm while committing a felony. However, authorities are continuing investigation and will not file formal charges until next week.
The full CNN interview with Alvin Watt's brother: