Saturday, July 2, 2022

1 killed, 7 injured in shooting at Oklahoma Memorial Day celebration

TAFT, Okla. One person was killed and seven injured in a shooting at an outdoor festival in eastern Oklahoma early Sunday, officials said, with witnesses saying the maniacs were running for cover as shots fired.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that two teenagers were among those shot at a Memorial Day event near Taft, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa.

Witnesses said an argument took place before the shootings after midnight, the agency said. No one has been arrested, it said.

“We heard a lot of shots and we thought it was firecrackers at first,” said Sylvia Wilson, owner of Tafts Boots Cafe, which was open at the time to serve hordes of visitors to the small town for the Memorial Day weekend gathering. , “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.

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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.

The bullet hit the Country Queen food truck.
Associated Press/Ian Moul/Tulsa World
Bullet hole in Country Queen food truck
Two teenagers were shot at Memorial Day celebrations.
Associated Press/Ian Moul/Tulsa World

The agency did not provide any other details, including the condition of the injured. The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office referred the Associated Press to OSBI for more information. A spokesman for the bureau said his agency may have updates later Sunday.

“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.

County Queens food truck owner Tiffany Walton speaks to the media at the scene of a shooting on Memorial Day
County Queens food truck owner Tiffany Walton speaks to the media at the scene.
Associated Press/Ian Moul/Tulsa World
bullet holes
An eyewitness claims that the altercation broke out before the shooting began.
Associated Press/Ian Moul/Tulsa World

“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.”

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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. Cars were coming out, 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 “prompt response to the assistance of local police and I am confident that Oklahoma law enforcement has the capacity to bring to justice anyone responsible for this fatal incident.”

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.”

Nation World News Desk
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