A 19-year-old Warr Acres man was arrested Tuesday afternoon in a shooting in Bricktown that left eight people wounded following Monday night's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rodney Dewon Hill, 19, was jailed on eight complaints of shooting with intent to kill, records show.
Tuesday night, Avery Meyers, 16, also was jailed on eight complaints of shooting with intent to kill, records show. Police would not discuss his arrest.
The shooting marred an otherwise jubilant scene in downtown Oklahoma City, where a crowd of about 6,000 people watched on a giant screen on the north side of the building in an area known as Thunder Alley as the Thunder clinched a spot in the Western Conference Finals.
“Police are really, really close to wrapping up their investigation,” Hill's attorney, Billy Bock, said after meeting with his client. “He's not the shooter.”
The attorney described Hill as a Lakers fan who also likes the Thunder, but the attorney said the shooting had nothing to do with the game.
“He went down to the game with the shooter,” Bock said. “They were in Thunder Alley. Everything will come out in the next few days. ... It didn't have anything to do with Thunder and Lakers. ... It wasn't a fan-based situation. Some people knew each other from school and some other things and, you know, people get hostile.”
It could not be immediately determined if Meyers had an attorney or what his alleged role was.
Police said one of the eight people shot was in critical condition. The rest had injuries that were not life-threatening.
Also, a pregnant woman was treated and released after she was trampled and kicked in the abdomen during the fracas a few blocks east of the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Reno Avenue.
Five of those shot were minors ranging in age from 13-17. Police did not release their names. The other shooting victims were identified as Norman Richards III, 22, Leibra Gaines, 22, and Twaina Jones, 22.
The woman who was trampled was identified as Destiny Holmes, whose age was not available. Police said the shooting followed an altercation between two groups of people on the street.
Rodney Hill's mother, Regina Hill, said her son went to Thunder Alley to watch the game but didn't shoot anyone.
“He wasn't involved in what was going on,” she said. “He wasn't the person who did it. I don't know exactly what happened down there, but I do know he wasn't the one who shot the people.”
“I just feel people need to stop prejudging and jumping to conclusions. That's what the investigation is for. I'm just disappointed with how everything has went, but it will come out in the wash,” Regina Hill said.
‘People were screaming'
It sounded at first like firecrackers — five bangs from beyond the surge of fans marching slowly to downtown parking garages, hotels and bars following Monday night's Thunder playoff victory.
But seconds later, the crowd surged back and Joe Fairbanks of Norman realized the sounds he heard were not explosions of celebration but of violence.
“We could see people lying on the ground in front of the ballpark,” said Fairbanks, 29. “People were screaming, there were gunshots, and that's about it — and there were some people laughing like they weren't sure it was serious or not.”
Fairbanks and his brother, Rob Fairbanks, were among several witnesses to the shooting along Reno near Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Fairbanks looked down and saw he was standing on bloodstained concrete. He picked up the slug of a bullet that lay at his feet.
In retrospect, he said, there was a tension in the air as soon as he and his brother stepped outside the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Thousands of ticketholders spilled out of the arena onto streets where thousands more were watching the game. Others were downtown for entirely different reasons.
“There were several groups of people who were yelling at each other, almost getting into fights, and all of them appeared to not have been there for the game,” he said. “None of them were wearing team colors of any sort.”
Fairbanks said police and paramedics arrived before the echo of gunfire stopped ringing his ears.
The victims were not calm, he said. Some were quickly loaded into ambulances and carted away; others it seemed like paramedics worked on them long after the crowd dissipated. Fairbanks said he saw three of four of the shooting victims on the ground.
“One was writhing in pain; the other was extremely still, and they were working on that person quite a while before they put him in the ambulance,” he said.
Fairbanks said he handed over to the police the bullet he found on the ground and was interviewed several times before he and his brother were allowed to go home.
Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said investigators aren't sure how the altercation began. An affidavit filed Tuesday when police applied for an arrest warrant shows Hill, two other men and a woman got into an argument with several of the victims. One of the men then pulled a gun and started shooting into the crowd.
The affidavit said one of the shooting victims knew Hill and identified him as being involved in the fight. The affidavit did not say whether he was suspected of pulling the trigger.
Hill's attorney, Bock, would not identify who did the shooting.
Hill was a student at Putnam City North High School and was supposed to have gone through graduation ceremonies Sunday but did not because of a counselor's mistake, his attorney said. Hill has been attending Putnam City Academy to finish up his credits, the attorney said. A district spokesman confirmed Hill is a student at Putnam City Academy.
This is not Hill's first brush with the law. He was charged in two felony cases filed earlier this year in Oklahoma County. He was charged March 6 with grand larceny, concealing stolen property and resisting arrest after one of his fellow students reported an iPhone stolen.
According to court documents, the school's security cameras showed Hill take the phone before passing it to one of his friends.
Hill was charged March 21 with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after a police officer saw him and a friend leave Hill's house and get into a car that had been reported stolen.