2 in custody in shooting at Hmong festival in Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. — Gunfire that wounded five people during a traditional Hmong New Year's festival rattled a peaceful, tight-knit east Tulsa community, where some feared on Sunday that the rampage could deter others from attending upcoming cultural celebrations.
“It's really sad because a lot of people do not feel safe to go to the other New Year's celebrations. I know there are people who don't want to attend that anymore,” said Joua Xiong, who attended Saturday's celebration along with hundreds of other Hmong people and heard the gunfire break out. “It's very sad because this is the only time we really get to embrace our culture and unite as one.”
Hmong are an Asian ethnic group mainly from Laos who number between 3,000 and 4,000 in Tulsa. Many have traveled to Tulsa from across the country during recent years seeking jobs.
Two men have been taken into custody and face multiple charges in the shooting, authorities said. Boonmlee Lee, 21, and Meng Lee, 19, both of Tulsa, each face five counts of shooting with intent to kill and firearms charges.
It was not clear from jail records whether either had an attorney. An arraignment is pending.
Tulsa police spokesman Capt. Steve Odom said a gun was recovered, but it will have to be tested to see whether it is connected to the shooting. Odom said the alleged shooters and the victims were all Hmong and that there was “probably a relationship” between the men charged and the victims.
The suspects were arrested shortly after the attack, which happened about 8 p.m. A police helicopter that was in the area spotted a car driving away from the scene with its headlights off and notified officers on the ground, who pulled it over.
The suspects had thrown clothes and a semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the attack out of the vehicle, police said.
The shooting victims' names were not released.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ohio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shooting
- Hope dims for Fla. teens lost at sea
- Cat found alive aboard sunken boat pulled from Lake Havasu
- GOP lawmakers, presidential candidates assail federal funding for Planned Parenthood
- Jailers: Texas woman discussed past suicide attempt during booking
- Clinton focuses on economy’s future in speech
- San Francisco’s Chinatown clings to roots amid tech boom
- In dispute over coal mine project, two ways of life hang in the balance
- Trump goes on attack against Walker
- Fiat Chrysler to buy back more than 500K Ram pickups
- Mail carrier credited with saving life of Nebraska octogenarian