Lone neighborhood watchman undeterred by shooting spree

TULSA -     At 68, Alfred Higgins, a retired electronics engineer, has a new purpose in life as a neighborhood watchman in the north Tulsa neighborhood of Northgate.

    Higgins patrols the very neighborhood where one of the Good Friday shooting victims was found.

    Police say Bobby Clark, 54, was shot and killed about half a block away from his house.

    Clark was one of three people who died in the shooting spree. Two others were wounded and later released from the hospital.

    Higgins wishes he had been on patrol at the time of the shooting.

    He thinks he might have been able to prevent it, or at least been able to help police find the suspects sooner.

    "If I see something bad happen, I get my cell phone out with the video capability and I record it and call the police immediately," said Higgins.

    Higgins has been a neighborhood watchman for about six years.

    He said instead of scaring him away, the shooting has strengthened his passion to protect his neighborhood.

    "I got someone up above watching over me," he said. "Plus the police, they too watch over me."

    One reason Higgins isn't afraid is because he knows a thing or two about protecting himself.

    In 1989, he shot and killed a home intruder.

    The shooting was justified, but the shock of it all sent him to the hospital.

    "When I shot him, I had a heart attack because that was the first time I had killed somebody," said Higgins.

    Higgins is the only watchman left in his neighborhood.

    He says he patrols during the day and at night.

    As a neighborhood watchman, he has assisted police with finding drug dealers and other criminals.

    Higgins said he has even been threatened by criminals.

    But he said they don't scare him.

    "The criminals will take over our neighborhood and our lives if we don't all get involved," said Higgins. "If I'm going to be scared, I might as well put this helmet up and say to heck with it."

    He hopes more area residents will join him in patrolling the streets.

    "I can't do it alone," he said. "But I keep trying and I won't give up."

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