Five dead at four weekend shootings in under 48 hours has added to Oklahoma City's climbing homicide count, which, at 66, already has eclipsed the number of slayings in each of the last two years.
“For Sept. 17, this is a high number,” Master Sgt. Gary Knight said on Monday.
It's not known what accounts for the spike. Police declined to speculate.
“It's hard to know what makes one year's homicide totals higher than another homicide totals,” said Knight, a police department spokesman.
There were 60 homicides in 2011 and 2010, though 2009 saw 75, the record for the past decade.
A weekend of violence
The first of five weekend slayings occurred about 11:20 p.m. Friday. The weekend ended with a double homicide late Sunday. Police do not believe any of the killings are related, Knight said.
Over the weekend, two detectives handled the initial scenes in the four incidents. Overall, a staff of 14 Oklahoma City homicide detectives is tasked with solving these crimes.
Police officers responded Friday to a call for shots fired in the 1500 block of S Indiana Avenue. There, officers found Curtis Lee Nolan, 50, shot to death inside a vehicle.
Monday, a man and his young son played outside of rows of red brick apartment buildings in the area. Asked if the area is safe, he said “No,” but he declined to provide his name or further details. Another woman in the area walked away shaking her head when asked for an interview.
Just more than five hours after the Friday night killing, officers were called to the area again. A half-mile to the west, officers found a sport utility vehicle had hit a telephone poll at SW 15 and S Pennsylvania Avenue. Inside, police discovered the driver had been shot. Javier Collazo, 34, was taken to a hospital, where he died.
The cracked telephone pole is at the corner of a lot that contains a convenience store and salvage business. Gangs have tagged the back of the store and large rusty tanks on his property, owner Randy McNutt said. He said the neighborhood beyond Pennsylvania contains mostly subsidized housing. It's a terrible area for crime, he said, but he added “it's not as bad as it used to be.”
Sunday brought with it the slayings of three people during two separate incidents.
Jessica Ford said her cousin, Tiyrell Lomack, was shot to death early Sunday during a home invasion at 1133 SW 32.
“He was a good dude,” she said. “All he did was work. We don't know why they decided to do it.”
Lomack had overcome a criminal past and held a job as a roofer, she said. He helped a family member who was sick with cancer. Friends and family regarded him as someone they could rely on.
A man with Lomack during the robbery said his friend was killed for $100.
“They killed a million dollar man for $100,” said the man, who declined to identify himself.
Monday, the day after two Hispanic men were found dead in a car down the street, a man working in his yard near NE 24 and Lottie Avenue said he still feels his neighborhood is safe.
But when he heard the pop of eight to 12 shots about 10:15 p.m. Sunday, he said he went to an interior hallway in his home, and he never looked outside before going to bed that night.
Police have not identified the two men found shot to death in a neighborhood near the Oklahoma state Capitol.
“I'm hoping it's just a random thing,” said the man, who declined to identify himself. “We're usually pretty comfortable here.”