Why America can't have nice things: Eight people were wounded by gunfire and a pregnant woman was injured shortly after the Oklahoma City Thunder game Monday night. Police say the shooting started after a confrontation between two groups of people.
5:05 p.m. Mayor Mick Cornett confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Thunder Alley as it has existed will not continue.
Cornett said city officials loved the spirit shown by the 6,000 or more people who gathered outside the Chesapeake Energy Arena to watch the game Monday, but the shooting incident afterwards in nearby Bricktown demonstrated the problems with such a setup.
“This ever-growing game night crowd that gathers on the street outside the building, that can't continue,” Cornett said. “There are too many public safety concerns. As much as we love the expression of enthusiasm, it's no longer a workable situation.”
Cornett said city officials haven't met with Thunder management to discuss alternatives, but options such as limiting the crowd size or moving spectators inside the Cox Convention Center are on the table.
“We need to hear from the team and what direction they would like to head,” Cornett said. “I'm sure we can come up with something that is workable.”
4:45 p.m. Police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting.
Rodney Dewon Hill, 19, (PICTURED) was arrested Tuesday afternoon on eight complaints of shooting with intent to kill, police said. An arrest warrant filed Tuesday at the Oklahoma County courthouse said Hill was identified by one of the victims of the shooting after the Oklahoma City Thunder's Monday night game.
According to the affidavit, Hill, two other men and a woman were involved in an altercation with several of the shooting victims before one of the men pulled a gun and started shooting into the crowd. A pregnant woman was trampled and kicked during the melee.
The affidavit does not say whether Hill was the shooter or if it was one of the other people in his group.
“During the course of the investigation, the defendant was identified as one of the black males involved in the altercation,” the affidavit states. “The defendant was known by the victim/witness who identified him.”
4:30 p.m. Thunder Alley may not return after Monday's shooting, city officials said Tuesday.
Police Chief Bill Citty said he and Mayor Mick Cornett met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the incident and concerns that the crowd outside was getting too large.
“We're discussing alternatives to Thunder Alley,” Citty said. “You are getting such large crowds that they become uncontrollable.
Citty said there are some indications the altercation that ended in gunfire in Bricktown about 12:30 a.m. originated in Thunder Alley, but the crowd size would be a concern even without the shooting.
“You could have something else,” Citty said. “Maybe someone gets sick or there is a medical problem. It creates problems.”
3:30 p.m. Oklahoma City police said they still are trying to track down all the victims from Monday night's shooting in Bricktown.
Capt. Dexter Nelson said several of the eight people who were injured were treated and released, and detectives have yet to interview them.
Police don't know whether the people involved were part of the crowd in Thunder Alley or were in Bricktown for some other reason.
“We don't have any information that leads us to believe it had anything to do with the game,” Nelson said. “It occurred three blocks away. The only thing the game did is draw a crowd. We've had similar crowds in Bricktown before.”
1:25 p.m. Thunder season-ticketholder Joe Fairbanks, 29, of Norman, said he first thought the gunshots were firecrackers.
“We could see people lying on the ground in front of the ballpark,” Fairbanks said. “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 looked down and saw he was standing on bloodstained concrete. He picked up the slug of a bullet that lay at his feet.
Police and paramedics arrived at the scene quickly, he said.
“For some reason I got the sense that the cops had it pretty well under control,” Fairbanks said. “Most people from the game were pretty calm, and a lot of people just stood around watching.”
Some of the shooting victims were taken away quickly by ambulances.
“One ... was extremely still, and they were working on that person quite a while before they put him in the ambulance,” Fairbanks said.
12:35 p.m. Police said Tuesday the shooting apparently started after a confrontation between a group of men and a group of women in the 200 block of E Reno Ave.
Capt. Dexter Nelson said police haven't interviewed all the victims yet and don't know if they were in the same group or if those hit were involved in the altercation or were just bystanders caught in the crossfire.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call investigators at 297-1126 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or Crime Stoppers at 235-7300.
11:45 a.m. “We're very disappointed. I think the entire city was excited about the basketball win, and to see the results that took place on the streets a little bit later I think put a cloud over the entire evening,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said Tuesday. “We're trying to figure out now what to do to try and diminish the chances that it might happen again.”
11:20 a.m. Julian Wilson, a University of Oklahoma football player, said on Twitter the shooting victim who had been in critical condition is Norman Michael Richards, 22. In a tweet before noon Wilson wrote, “Just got some good news! He's going to make it. God is good!”
“I do not have any information on that patient,” said Natalie Fix, an OU Medical Center spokeswoman.
Earlier, Wilson tweeted, “Praying for the homie Norman Richards who got shot in the head tonight ... When will people learn how to act.”
10:55 a.m. “I hope that those individuals that were unfortunately the victims of some terrible behavior after the game that was reported last night are doing fine, and hope that their recovery will be best,” Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly said during Tuesday's city council meeting.
“It's just unfortunate that we have such great things, and then someone creates an atmosphere that causes bodily harm to other citizens. But I think the city of Oklahoma City should be proud of what we've accomplished in reference to the NBA and what is done on a national basis for this state and this city.”
8:45 a.m. Six of the victims are in good condition at OU Medical Center. One victim remains in critical condition Tuesday morning, said Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman. Paramedics and emergency workers picked up the victims in a span of a two-block area around Reno Avenue and Mickey Mantle Drive, O'Leary said.
7:45 a.m. There have been no arrests and no one is in custody Tuesday morning, Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.
7:15 a.m. One victim was in critical condition when ambulance crews took patients to hospitals, said Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman Tuesday morning. A pregnant woman was either kicked or hit in the abdomen, she said. Eight gunshot victims were found at the scene across several blocks around Reno Avenue and Mickey Mantle Drive, O'Leary said. There were about 5,000 people out in the area when the gunfire rang out, she estimates. While one patient was in critical condition late Monday, the other seven were “stable” O'Leary said Tuesday morning.
7:05 a.m. Five patients were taken to OU Medical Center, Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday morning. She said on the scene last night a patient was assaulted. Two of the patients at OU were taken there by ambulance in critical condition.
6:15 a.m. An OU Medical Center spokeswoman said she cannot release any conditions or information about shooting patients there Tuesday morning and directed all questions to police.
“Later today, our public information office will release a statement,” said Heather Dickson, OU Medical Center clinical coordinator. “All patients' information is confidential at this time.”
Five of eight victims were taken to OU Medical Center following the shootings.
Midnight: At least eight people were shot downtown shortly after the Thunder game let out Monday night, police said.
About 11:35 p.m., shots were reportedly fired on Reno Avenue between Mickey Mantle Drive and Joe Carter Avenue, about three blocks east of Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“Preliminary reports indicate that eight people were shot and one person suffered blunt trauma, and that person was a pregnant woman,” Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.
“Everything is very, very preliminary. We still don't know the actual number of victims. We believe that one person is critical, and the other injuries are not believed to be life-threatening,” Nelson said.
One person was shot in the back, another in the upper arm and a third in the hand, according to police radio traffic.
The pregnant woman is thought to have been kicked in the melee, Nelson said.
Two suspected shooters were in custody at the Bricktown Harkins Theater before midnight, Oklahoma City police Capt. Lisa Camacho said.
Police closed down the area from Mickey Mantle Drive to Lincoln Boulevard and south to the Bricktown Canal.
Between five and seven minutes after leaving the arena, fan Chris Turan, of Oklahoma City, heard six to eight gunshots ring out and ran for cover.
Turan said the atmosphere Monday night was different from other playoffs games he'd attended.
“I thought the element of the spectators changed for the worse tonight. There seemed to be a lot of people out there looking for trouble,” Turan said.
Tyler Maxwell and Tasha Bacon, of Oklahoma City, watched the game from Thunder Alley, like they had the other playoff games. When the shots rang out, they were in a parking lot just west of the shooting scenes.
“After Game 2, we got stuck in traffic for an hour and a half because there was all kind of fighting ... ” Maxwell said.
“It's gotten more and more intense every time we're been out here,” he said.
“The playoffs are (good) for our city, but they're starting to bring violence. I can't imagine what would happen if this was the NBA Finals,” Maxwell said.
“We were walking around and every other person was saying, ‘I'm scared.' We come down here all the time and have never seen anything like this,” Bacon said.
“It's unfortunate that it happened on a great night for Oklahoma City and the Thunder, but in our society those things happen,” Oklahoma City Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney said.
“It did not happen at the arena, at the game, at Thunder Alley,” Mahoney said. “We'll continue to work with law enforcement to provide a safe environment.”
Nelson, of the Oklahoma City police, said: “We had a lot of manpower down here to help with the crowd, but we were outnumbered.”
“We had a few skirmishes here and there, and some bumping, but nothing that you wouldn't expect with that many people gathered in one place,” he said.
|Liveleak on Facebook|