South Tulsa residents near 61st and Peoria seek to lower crime numbers after fatal shooting

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 20:12:58-04

TULSA - Just 24 hours since a man was gunned down near 61st and Peoria and some residents are still stunned by the crime.

On Wednesday, a 41-year-old man was found with bullet wounds and later died. Another person, a 32-year-old man, was shot one time and loaded into a vehicle that later stopped at 6000 South Peoria and met with EMSA to allow them to transport the victim. Police believe the second shooting victim will survive.

Investigators interviewed those in the area and have determined that an argument started the incident. The altercation was between the group who was shot and another group of men, says Tulsa police, the night before the shooting occurred. Then on Wednesday, the two groups met at the aforementioned location.

Tulsa police described the suspect they believed fired the gun as a black male around 6-feet tall and weighing around 170 to 200 pounds. They are still working to identify the suspect and ask that anyone with information come forward.

Police released the name of a person of interest being sought in connection to the shooting as Markees Johnson, 26.

In the aftermath, community leaders say they won't give up fighting to make that part of south Tulsa a safe place to live. Wednesday's murder was only the second for the year in the area, according to police.

But that doesn't mean their work is finished.

“I never thought I'd witness something that shocking and that terrible,” said resident Dana Harding.

Memories of the night still sting for Harding, who was with her son when she saw two people being shot outside.

“I watched the guy pull out his gun and start shooting,” she said.

If you ask her, though, south Tulsa is home and she wants to keep it that way.

“Right now, I'm kind of shaky, I'm still a little iffy being in this area, but the crime in this area hasn't been that bad in the two years I've been here,” she said.

She's the type of person that local leaders are working for.

Thursday, police met with councilors and property managers to talk about crime and keeping each other in the loop.

Riverside Division Captain Thomas Bell credits community dialogue for keeping many violent crimes at bay since 2013 when four women were found shot to death in an apartment.

“One of the things we focus on in these meetings is what can we do as a police department to work together with the community, with the apartment managers to make their complexes safer, to prevent crime,” Bell said.

Bell said police presence also plays a factor.

While property crimes like package thefts and car break-ins are expected for the next few months, he said he's received positive feedback in the community.

“I see the community desire. I see the motivation to push make this a better place to live. And as long as the community is invested, we're invested,” Bell said.

It's an investment into a community that some residents still see as a great opportunity.

“You’ve got to a lot stuff going on this way, you're right down the street from Riverside Park, you got a grocery store down the street...and it's really not a bad area at all,” said Harding.

Property managers also discussed topics like added security guards, office check-ins for guests to keep tenants safe.

Police are urging anyone in the area that sees anything suspicious to call them.