Friday, February 3, 2023

1 dead, 7 injured after shooting at Oklahoma festival

TAFT, Okla. ( Associated Press) — A 26-year-old man was in custody after one person was killed and seven wounded in a shooting early Sunday at an outdoor festival in eastern Oklahoma, where witnesses ran frantically, officials said. People described cover between bullets.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that an arrest warrant had been issued for Skyler Buckner and he turned himself in at the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday afternoon. The OSBI said those shot at the Memorial Day event in Taft, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa, ranged in age from 9 to 56.

OSBI said a 39-year-old woman died. The injuries of the wounded were considered non-life threatening.

OSBI had earlier said that two juveniles were injured in the firing but said on Sunday afternoon that only one juvenile was injured.

Witnesses said an argument took place before the shootings after midnight, the agency said.

“We heard a lot of shots and we thought it was firecrackers at first,” said Sylvia Wilson, owner of Tafts Boots Cafe. “Then people start running and ducking. And we were all screaming… ‘Get down! Get down!’ Wilson told the Associated Press by telephone from the cafe on Sunday morning.

About 1,500 people attended the event at Taft, which typically has a population of only a few hundred people. OSBI said members of the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office were present and immediately began providing assistance.

“Bullets were literally flying everywhere,” Jasmine Hill, who was working in a food truck during the incident, told Tulsa World.

Hill said he and Tiffany Walton, the food truck’s owner, walked to the floor of the truck to avoid gunfire.

“We’re thinking we’re safe and the bullets are about to pass under the food truck,” Hill said. “They didn’t kill us, thank goodness.”

Nicy Bates and her husband were driving another food truck when shots were fired. She told Tulsa World that most people were “just going to the ground trying to get out of the way.”

“People were just screaming. Some were trying to run away. The cars were moving, trying not to hit each other,” she said.

Walton, who lives in Taft, said the city has held a multi-day festival over Memorial Day weekend for decades.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitta said on twitter That he is grateful for OSBI’s “quick response to the assistance of the local police”.

Wilson estimated his cafe to be about 100 feet (30 m) from where the shooting began. She said law enforcement was at the scene first to help with security and that officers responded quickly to the shooting.

“We are worried,” said Wilson, “but everything is returning to normal… the danger is over.”

Buckner was held at the Muskogee County Jail on Sunday. A lawyer was not listed for him in the prison records.

Nation World News Desk
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