Tulsa Murder Suspects Confess; Clergy Calmed Potential Racial Strife

The two Tulsa men arrested after a 17-hour manhunt over the weekend confessed to a series of Good Friday shootings, three of which were fatal, reports the Tulsa World. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 33, were arrested Sunday. They told police they each committed two shootings. A judge set each man’s bail at $9.16 million.
As word spread Friday that a white gunman had killed three black residents, fear also spread that the shootings could spark racial unrest and retaliation. Those fears were addressed Friday night at a meeting of about 20 lay and clergy church leaders called by Warren Blakney, the minister of the North Peoria Church of Christ. Blakney said he thinks the actions of the faith community had a calming effect on what could have been an explosive situation. “I feel that had we not addressed it and gotten on top of it quickly, the situation could have gotten out of control, and it could have become a very difficult time for the city of Tulsa,” said Blakney, who is president of the local NAACP chapter.

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