Oklahoma has seen 63 mass shootings since 2021 began. Yet, these numbers show a decline compared to previous years.
According to the Oklahoma City Police Department in November 2020, murder crimes dropped 13% from 2019 to 2020, as opposed to a 19% increase from 2018 to 2019.
According to America’s Health Rankings, the numbers of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults per 100,000 people have stayed at a relatively low level compared to the highs shown in the early 1990s. They have stayed steady for the past 10 years, with a slight increase in 2014. Roughly 432 offenses are recorded for each group of 100,000 people.
Mark Bryant, the founder of the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, would know these numbers well. The Gun Violence Archive tracks gun violence trends, which Bryant hopes will show Oklahoma becoming less violent than previous years.
“I’m hoping last year proves to be the anomaly,” Bryant said. “The stresses caused by last year, from jobs to illness, were not just an urban thing or a rural thing. We saw bumps in towns in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as in Chicago and Philadelphia.”
A report of major violent crime incidents this past year include the following:
Saturday, Jan. 9
Police investigated a shooting near Northeast 16th and I-35 in Oklahoma City. The victim has since been identified as 52-year-old Anita Kay Walker. There are no potential suspects as of late.
One of their neighbors, Renee Moseley, said it was not clear what led to the shooting, as she did not hear any screaming or yelling, just a weapon firing.
“Someone heard one gunshot, after that like five seconds later we heard a car drive by, we never came out of the house, we heard the sirens,” Moseley said.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
Officers found two bodies, one male and one female, riddled with gunshot wounds. The man had been shot in the head but survived. The woman was already dead and lying outside of the home. Officials have not yet released the victims’ names. There is no information yet on what caused the shooting or potential suspects.
Saturday, Jan. 30
Four people, including two girls under the age of 5, were found dead in a residence in the Sunburst Mobile Home Park in Sand Springs at 2:30 p.m.
The mother of the adult male victim found the bodies when no one answered her call about babysitting the children. Police initially believed it was a triple murder-suicide and are not looking for suspects.
Tuesday, Feb. 9
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, convicted cocaine dealer Lawrence Paul Anderson, 42, murdered a neighbor, his uncle Leon Pye, 67, and their 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos Yates, at his home in Chickasha. He also stabbed his aunt, Delsie Pye, who survived.
He has confessed to the recent triple-murder and added he cut out the heart of his neighbor, Andrea Lynn Blakenship, 41, to feed to his family to “release the demons.”
He has been charged with three counts of triple-degree murder, one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and one count of maiming
“I don’t want no bail, your honor. I don’t want no bail,” Anderson said.
Many people including Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks are frustrated with the situation, as Anderson is now a repeat offender. In 2017, he was sentenced to serve 20 years, but Gov. Kevin Stitt reduced his sentence to nine years after recommendations from the parole board. He was released in January.
“This has to be addressed by the legislature, sooner rather than later, because more people are going to get killed,” Hicks said. “We’re seeing this all over the state. Repeat offenders go to prison. They’re not there very long. And they come home and they’re committing crimes just like this.”
Saturday, Feb. 20
On Saturday, Feb. 20, one man died after a shooting in Southwest Oklahoma City near 32nd and Pennsylvania Ave. Police received a call about an argument in the area at 5:13 a.m. They arrived at 5:25 a.m., but one man was already dead, and there was no information on a possible suspect. The man was later identified as Jordan Ibarra-Ortega, age 26.
Ibarra-Ortega had been arguing with his roommate, Jonathan Portillo-Lopez. The suspect was taken to Oklahoma County Jail on a complaint of first-degree murder. Formal charges have not yet been filed, and the investigation is still ongoing.
Sunday, Feb. 28
Officers responded to a call after an argument between two cousins turned into a shooting. The victim was 48-year-old Marios Vines, who was found dead in a hallway at the Holiday Inn in Bricktown. He and his cousin are Daphne, Alabama natives, but were in the area for work. The alleged shooter in custody for first-degree murder, and formal charges have not yet been filed.
Monday, March 1
The Oklahoma City Police arrested a male suspect after a shooting at an Oklahoma City apartment complex near N.W. 10th and MacArthur Blvd. A woman was shot in the shoulder, but appears to be fine.