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Suspect in deadly Taft shooting turns himself in

Taft Shooting 2.jpg
Taft Shooting.jpg
Posted at 9:53 AM, May 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 19:49:43-04

TAFT, Okla.  — Update: A suspect in the deadly weekend shooting in Taft is now in custody.

26-year-old Skyler Buckner turned himself in at the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office early Sunday evening.

The eight people who were injured were transferred to a hospital in Muskogee. Those injured ranged in age, from 9 to 56-years-old.
The victim who died was a 39-year-old woman by the name of Sharika Bowler.

One person is dead and seven others are injured, including juvenile, after a shooting at a Memorial Day festival in Taft.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the case, said just after midnight there was an argument at the outdoor festival when gunfire erupted.

Around fifteen hundred people were at the event, locals tell us this Memorial Day festival is a four-day event that started on Friday.

The annual celebration has been canceled for the past two years because of the pandemic.

So this year many residents and visitors were excited to have it back.

The owner of the Kountry Queen food truck, Tiffany Walton, said this isn't something they expected in Taft.

“We just started hearing what sounded like fireworks at first and then it turned into a lot of guns you know pow pow pow and then it went from there. People running, people losing their shoes, people getting shot, and it went from there", Walton said.

She said they immediately dropped to the floor of the food truck to take cover as bullets hit their truck.

Walton said four rounds hit her truck near where the propane tank would usually be.

“We’re numb because we're tired. It’s like we’ve been out here all night long, couldn’t get into our vehicle because they were all crime scenes and it’s just like when you know the people and it’s little kids and stuff, it’s bad", Walton said.

Neicy Bates is the owner of Fat Fries food truck, she told 2 News, “My son was actually close to the lady that was shot in the head and my daughter was here at the store buying candy. So I knew that they were close.”

One individual drove up from Dallas to attend the festival.

He wished to remain anonymous but said he grew up in Taft, he came for the event and to see family who still lives there.

“When we got here it was a normal day, everybody just hanging out and just glad that everything is seeming to be going back to like it used to be because it was dead for like two years. With the way it was looking I thought that next year would be even better but for something like that to happen I kind of take that back.”

The deceased is a 39-year-old black female, the other injured range in age from nine to fifty-six.

The injured individuals are all said to have non-life-threatening injuries.

The OSBI told 2 News, the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office was at the event and helped the victims after the shooting.

Muskogee County Sheriff, Andy Simmons, confirmed that 26-year-old Skyler Buckner surrendered and will be booked at the Muskogee County jail.

Governor Kevin Stitt was grateful for all involved and assisting in the investigation of the shooting.


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