6:14am

Mon April 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Tulsa Shooting Suspects Set For Arraignment

UPDATE at 12:00 p.m. EST:

The Associated Press has withdrawn its story that the two shooting suspects have been charged. Instead, the news agency says the pair "are being held, but have not yet been formally charged."

Here's the story we filed earlier based on the AP's now-withdrawn report:

The two men arrested in connection with a Tulsa shooting spree that left three black residents dead and two others wounded have been charged with murder.

Roommates Alvin Watts, 32, and Jake England, 19, were appeared via closed-circuit television from jail after their arrest Sunday, according to The Associated Press. The judge set bond at $9.16 million each, AP said:

Both are charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with the intent to kill and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Neither man had an attorney present Monday. The judge set an April 16 court date.

Meanwhile, police are not saying whether the shootings were racially motivated.

"Our hate groups are very spotty," says Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan. "We have them over the decades occasionally. We don't have them here to monitor them on a regular basis, and we feel fortunate about that."

But NPR correspondent Cheryl Corley says:

Part of the investigation has focused on Facebook postings that appear to have been written by the 19-year-old suspect, and suggest revenge may have been a factor. The Facebook update has since been taken down, but Jake England had 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 fiancée earlier this year.

According to The Tulsa World's website:

... England, then 17, watched as a man shot his father, Carl England, 47, after an attempted home invasion at Comanche Park Apartments on April 5, 2010, the friends said.

Three months shy of the second anniversary of that shooting, Jake England's girlfriend, Sheran Hart Wilde, 24, shot herself in front of him, the friends said. Her death notice was published Jan. 12 in the Tulsa World.

Jake was left to care for their son, Jake England Jr., who was 4 months old when Wilde died, and his two younger sisters, the friends said.

The newspaper said the two men were arrested together about a mile from their residence and in the same general vicinity of the shootings.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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