Community leaders call shooting spree a hate crime

TULSA - Community leaders in North Tulsa are calling Friday morning's shooting spree a hate crime.

The shooting spree left three people dead and two others seriously wounded.

Police believe the victims were targeted at random.

Authorities are focused on finding a white man driving a white pickup truck, who was seen in the area at the time of the shootings.

"If you systematically target black folks and that's all you shot, and you come to the north side of town and you're a white male, and we know he was a white male, then what is one left to believe?" said Rev. Warren Blakney, president of the Tulsa chapter of the NAACP.

"This is an entire community that is being attacked right now," added Pastor Millard Jones.

On Friday evening, Tulsa city councilor Jack Henderson met with church leaders and the NAACP to condemn the attack.

The leaders also wanted to send a strong warning to residents in North Tulsa to be careful this holiday weekend.

"I think the precaution for the people is my main concern," said Henderson. "I think people should not let some crazy, deranged person mess up their weekend, but at the same time they ought to be concerned this person is still loose."

Henderson spoke with the mayor and police chief after learning about the shootings.

"This is something the City of Tulsa is not taking lightly. They want to get to the bottom of this like we do," he said.

Community leaders also warned against anyone who might be thinking about taking the law into their own hands.

"We want our people to know there's no need to go out and try to take vengeance and become a vigilante. Just wait for the process and let's see what's going to happen," said Blakney.

Police also caution  pedestrians about approaching strange vehicles, especially white pickup trucks, who stop or pull over while they are walking.

Anyone with information about these shootings, should call Crime Stoppers, or the homicide tip line at (918) 798-8477.

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