Black Man Charged With Hate Crime After Shooting Two Men In The Back of the Head

Black Man Charged With Hate Crime After Shooting Two Men In The Back of the Head

Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are investigating a homeless man who allegedly randomly killed two men due to their race.

The New York Post reports Carlton Gilford was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill. On Apr. 18, Gilford murdered the men with no connection to them.

Authorities claim Gilford went into the Rudisill Library shortly before 10 a.m., walked up behind Lundin Hathcock, and shot him point blank in the back of the head. Later that day, he walked into a QuikTrip convenience store and shot James McDaniel similarly. The victim fell to the ground, and the assailant shot him again, leaving him dead at the scene.

According to KKTV, surveillance video showed Gilford firing shots at a security guard and another person outside the gas station. As police arrived, he was seen standing outside the convenience store and admitted to officers that he had shot two people.

Gilford was also charged with one count of malicious intimidation or harassment, which under Oklahoma law, is a version of a hate crime charge. The state doesn’t have a specific hate crime statute, but malicious intimidation or harassment includes targeting someone based on race. “The information suggests that race played a role in it,” Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said. “I feel like that is something we can prove, and it is something that a judge or jury obviously needs to listen to. So, we will present that information along with everything else.”

Records show Gilford is being held without bond at the Tulsa County Jail and is due back in court on June 23. According to FOX News, prosecutors say it’s for the public’s safety. “Whenever you are talking about the dynamic where the safety of the public is at risk, in my mind, somebody who is killing somebody or doing harm toward somebody who they don’t know, that really amps things up.”