Man charged with hate crime after fatal shootings of strangers at library, gas station, police say
TULSA, Okla. (Gray News) – A man is facing numerous charges after he shot and killed two strangers inside a library and a convenience store in an attack that appears to have been racially motivated, police said.
According to the Tulsa Police Department, Carlton Gilford shot and killed two men he did not have any connection to on April 18.
Police said Gilford went inside the Rudisill Library around 9:40 a.m., walked up behind a man sitting at a desk and shot him in the back of the head.
The victim, identified as 35-year-old Lundin Hathcock, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died at the hospital.
Police said after the library shooting, Gilford ran to a nearby QuikTrip. Inside the convenience store, Gilford shot another man in the back of the head. When that victim fell to the ground, Gilford shot him a second time, police said.
The victim inside the QuikTrip was identified as 55-year-old James McDaniel. He died on the scene.
Police said surveillance video showed Gilford also fired shots at a security guard and another person outside the QuikTrip.
When police arrived, Gilford was standing outside the store and admitted to officers that he shot two people, Tulsa police said.
Gilford was arrested and booked into the Tulsa County Jail, where he is being held without bond. According to jail records, Gilford is homeless.
He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill, and one count of malicious intimidation or harassment – which is Oklahoma’s version of a hate crime charge.
KJRH reports that under Oklahoma law, there is no specific hate crime statute, but malicious intimidation or harassment includes targeting someone based on their race.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler told KOTV that evidence suggests Gilford, who is Black, shot both men because they were white. Kunzweiler did not elaborate.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Tulsa police said there does not appear to have been any connection between Gilford and the victims.
Jail records show Gilford is due in court June 23.
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