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Woman killed identified, new information in shooting at Taft festival

Posted at 5:48 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 19:24:57-04

TAFT, Okla. — We’ve learned new information on a shooting that left multiple people injured and one dead at an outdoor festival in Taft late Saturday night.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has identified the 39-year-old woman killed as Sharika Bowler.

They also say the suspected shooter who turned himself in has a Tulsa residence.

Many people we spoke with who live in Taft told us on Sunday they believed the shooter was not from the community.

“Everyone from around here is like family so you don’t expect nothing like that around here. I’m sure whoever did it is not from around here,” said an attendee who asked to not be identified.

Investigators say Skyler Buckner of Tulsa turned himself in Sunday evening after the shooting in Taft late Saturday night that left Bowler dead and seven others injured.

On Saturday Taft residents and visitors told us they were enjoying the second day of a four-day Memorial Day festival when gunfire broke out.

Many of them were excited to have the festival back after it had been canceled for two years because of the pandemic.

“It’s sad because you know with COVID it made the town really dead or whatever because the population is really small like 200+ and then all of a sudden, we do it and it’s a really good crowd everybody is getting along its devastating it’s like a shock,” said Tiffany Walton the owner of the Kountry Queen food truck.

Those with food trucks say business was good with 1,500 people in attendance. Investigators say an argument led to the shooting.

“Everybody was running, hitting the floor, looking for their kids,” said Neicy Bates the owner of Fat Fries food truck.

A Taft native who lives in Dallas drove up for the event. He asked not to be identified but echoed the feelings of the food truck owners.

“Everybody was just happy to get back out and be seeing their family and being back home and things like that but things like that happen it’s just terrible,” he said.

The OSBI says of those injured, no one suffered life-threatening wounds with most being treated and released from the hospital.

Muskogee County’s District Attorney says he hasn’t determined what charges Buckner will face and is asking to delay the formal arraignment until he receives the investigator’s report on the shooting.

Everyone we spoke to says they heard different types of weapons being fired.

When we asked OSBI if there are more suspects, they didn’t say for sure but are encouraging anyone who was there, has cellphone video from that night or has heard anything since the incident to contact them at 1-800-522-8017 or email tips@osbi.ok.gov. You can remain anonymous.


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