Random north Tulsa killings were racially motivated, prosecutors say

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa County prosecutors say the random killings of two men in north Tulsa were likely racially motivated.

Police arrested Carlton Gilford after they said he shot and killed two men on April 18. It’s alleged Gilford first shot a man at Rudisill Regional Library, near East Pine Street and North Hartford Avenue, and then walked to a nearby QuikTrip and shot a man in the convenience store. Both men were white.

Gilford is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill, as well as one count of misdemeanor malicious intimidation or harassment. Malicious intimidation or harassment is the newest charge against Gilford and falls under what Oklahoma considers a hate crime.

“The allegation is race, religion, ethnicity, orientation, those things, somebody committed a crime based upon those factors,” said Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler.

In Gilford’s case, it alleges he intentionally shot Lundin Hathcock and James McDaniel based on their race or color.

“The information we have from law enforcement is that race had something to do with these shootings,” said Kunzweiler.

Kunzweiler said evidence will be heard in court at the preliminary hearing. Witnesses from the shootings will share what they saw. What we likely won’t hear are arguments on race being the motive.

“If and when we get to that point where we have to put that evidence on, it’ll have to be in front of a judge or jury, when it’s for trial,” said Kunzweiler.

A judge previously denied Gilford’s bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 23.





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