US & Canada

Tulsa shooting suspects 'confess' to gun-spree

Composite police photo of Jake England and Alvin Watts 9 April 2012
Image caption Jacob England (left) and Alvin Watts (right) were roommates near Tulsa

Two men accused of shooting five black people, three fatally, in the Oklahoma city of Tulsa on Friday have confessed, according to an affidavit.

Earlier, Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, appeared in court via video link from jail and had their bail set at $9m (£5.6m) each.

The roommates were expected to face three counts of first-degree murder and two of shooting with intent to kill.

They were arrested at home near Tulsa on Sunday after a tip-off.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for 16 April.

The affidavit, quoted by the Associated Press news agency, does not make clear which man shot which victim, but the papers suggest that Mr England admitted to shooting three people and Mr Watts confessed to shooting two.

'Axe to grind'

The three dead have been identified as Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31.

Two men wounded in the attacks, David Hall, 46, and Deon Tucker, 44, have since been released from hospital.

None of the victims are thought to have known each other and all of them were out walking when they were shot within a three-mile (4.8-km) radius early on Friday.

Image caption Jake England and Alvin Watts were living in this property north of Tulsa where they were arrested

Although the north Tulsa area where the shootings took place is a predominantly black area, law enforcement officials said it was too early to assume a racial motivation.

However, police spokesman Jason Willingham said that Mr England may have had an "axe to grind" because of his father's death two years ago.

Carl England was shot in the chest in April 2010 during a fight with Pernell Demond Jefferson, a black man who allegedly tried to break into the apartment of Mr England's daughter's boyfriend.

Jefferson is serving six years in jail on a weapons charge.

In January, Jake England also witnessed the death of his fiancee, Sheran Hart Wilde, 24, who according to reports shot herself in front of him.

Police said that on Thursday Mr England had posted a Facebook update, using a racial slur, expressing anger at his father's death.

"Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a [expletive] [racial epithet]," Mr England wrote on Thursday. "It's hard not to go off between that and sheran I'm gone in the head."

Shortly after Friday's shootings, Mr England reportedly posted again on Facebook: "People talking [expletive] on me for some [expletive] I didn't do it just mite be the time to call it quits... I hate to say it like that but I'm done if something does happen tonight be ready for another funeral later."

His Facebook page was taken offline as of Sunday.

Alvin Watts' brother, Gene, toldthe Tulsa World newspaperthat Alvin Watts had moved in with Mr England to help him after his father's death.

Susan Sevenstar, a family friend, told the Associated Press that Mr England was "a good kid" who "was not in his right mind" since his father's death and fiancee's suicide.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites