Comments made by England on Facebook, which include a racial epithet, appear to provide some insight into his view of the world.
"It's apparent from the posting on the Facebook page that he had an ax to grind, and that was possibly part of the motive," Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham told the Associated Press. "If you read the Facebook post and see what he's accused of doing, you can see there's a link between the two of them."
One day before the shootings, England had posted: "Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a fucking nigger."
England added: "It's hard not to go off between that and sheran I'm gone in the head."
In April 2010, England reportedly witnessed the shooting death of his father, Carl England, at the hands of an black man during an attempted home invasion. Department of corrections records indicate the man charged in the shooting is serving a six-year sentence on a weapons charge. Three months prior to the two-year anniversary of his father's death, England allegedly watched his girlfriend, Sheran Hart Wilde, shoot herself dead in front of him. The couple's son was four months old at the time of Wilde's death.
Friends of England's family claim the combination of the incidents resulted in a mental breakdown for the 19-year-old.
"I've known him since he was like eight years old, and from the time his father died, that boy has been somebody else," neighbor Alicia Houston told Tulsa World, a local newspaper. "He wasn't mentally able to take what's been thrown on him."
Watts moved in with England shortly after his father's death. According to his brother, Gene Watts, he wanted to help the young man cope with his anger, which he said appeared at least partially racially motivated. Watts repeatedly commented on England's Facebook page. He responded to England's Thursday post by writing: "I kno I miss them 2. My last meomeries were great ones of them. Its nt goodbye its c u later."
Hours after the post was made, investigators believe the two men drove around north Tulsa's predominantly black neighborhoods, shooting pedestrians. None of the victims knew each other, and all of the shootings took place within a few miles of one another. One of the victims was attacked in an area not far from where England's father was shot in 2010.
Authorities have revealed few specifics about the shootings themselves, though Jack Henderson, a black city councilman who presides over the districts where the killings took place, offered some details. According constituents Henderson claimed to have spoken with, in one of the incidents the suspects approached their victims at random and asked for directions. "When they turned around to walk away, they just opened fire," Henderson said.
Hours after the first shooting Friday evening, England again took to Facebook, writing: "Chilling at the house people talking shit on me for some shit I didn't do." He added: "it just mite be the time to call it quits I I hate to say it like that but I'm done if something does happen tonite be ready for another funeral later."
Law enforcement officials responded to the attacks by forming a task force called operation random shooter, made up of more than two dozen local, state and federal investigators from the Tulsa police department, the county sheriff's office and the federal marshals service. Local FBI officials also aided in the investigation. Following a series of tips, the two men were arrested Sunday morning.
Speaking at a press conference before the two men were arrested, Henderson said the shootings left the black community terrified: "A lot of people in my community have been calling me, afraid that they couldn't go outside, didn't know if they could even go to church, didn't know if they could go to the grocery store."
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian Correspondent Ryan Devereaux, with reporting by various news agencies, in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/09/tulsa-oklahoma-shooting-suspects-judge-bond