Police in Tulsa say it’s much too early in their investigation to describe the murder of three black residents and the wounding of two others as a hate crime, NPR reports. Two men were arrested early Sunday morning and are expected to face charges of first degree murder and shooting with intent to kill. “The crime-stopper tips were the biggest help to us,” says police Maj. Walter Evans says. “From that, we were able to develop some really good suspect information on those two suspects and other associates that were involved with them.”
The suspects are Alvin Watts, 33, who is white according to court records and Jake England, 19, who is identified in some records as white and in others as Native American. The men share a home. Part of the investigation has focused on Facebook postings that appear to have been written by England, who used a racial slur and angrily blamed his father’s death which occurred two years ago on a black man. The posting said “It’s hard not to go off” given the anniversary and the death of his fiancee earlier this year.