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Father's death 'motive for rampage'

The explanation for a shooting rampage that terrorised Tulsa's black neighbourhood and left three people dead may lie in a killing that took place more than two years ago.

Carl England, whose son is accused of the weekend shooting spree in Oklahoma, was fatally shot in 2010 by a man who had threatened his daughter and tried to kick in the door of her home.

The man was black and police say Mr England's son may have been seeking vengeance when he and his roommate shot five black people last week.

Police documents given to The Associated Press said the two suspects had both confessed. According to a police statement, 19-year-old Jake England admitted shooting three people and 32-year-old Alvin Watts confessed to shooting two.

The two suspects appeared in court on Monday to have their bond set at 9.16 dollars (£5.76m) each. Authorities have said they expect to charge the pair with three counts of first-degree murder and other crimes.

Family and friends say Carl England's death sent his son into a downward spiral. On Thursday, Jake England apparently wrote a Facebook post marking the second anniversary of his father's death and lamented that "it's hard not to go off".

In 2010 Carl England had responded to his daughter's call for help and with her boyfriend tracked down the man who tried to break in. A fight broke out, and the man took out a gun and fired at Mr England. The man who pulled the trigger, Pernell Jefferson, was not charged with murder because an investigation determined he acted in self-defence.

Jefferson was charged with attempted burglary and a weapons violation and had his probation revoked in an unrelated weapons case for which he is serving a six-year sentence. He is due to be tried in May on the burglary charge.

Watts' brother Gene told the Tulsa World that Watts moved in with England soon after his father died to help him rebuild his life and deal with his anger, which seemed to be racially focused. "I've never known my brother to be no racist or anything like that," Gene Watts said. "I know he was going through a little bit of depression problems, but other than that, he's got in little scuffles before, but he's never went off and done this."

The January suicide of England's fiancee, only months after she gave birth to their son, made matters worse. Sheran Hart Wilde died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head on January 10, according to the state medical examiner's office.


From Belfast Telegraph