Double Murder Suspect Charged With Hate Crime

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
May 8, 2023US News
Double Murder Suspect Charged With Hate Crime
Double muder suspect Carlton Gilford has been charged with hate crime (Courtesy of Tulsa Police Department)

The homeless man who shot two unsuspecting people in the back of the head in Oklahoma two weeks ago has been charged with hate crime after investigators determined that they believe race was the motivating factor behind the attack.

Carlton Gilford, a black man from Tulsa, Oklahoma, allegedly shot two white men in the back of the head at two separate locations on April 18.

The investigation revealed no connection between the killer and the victims. Authorities now believe the attack was motivated by racial hate, which will have to be proven in court.

“Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office charge Murder suspect, Carlton Gilford, with Hate Crime,” the Tulsa Police Department in Oklahoma announced on Facebook this week.

According to police reports, Gifford entered Rudisill Library on April 18 at around 9:40 a.m. local time, where he allegedly walked up behind a man sitting at a desk, pulled out a gun, and shot him in the back of the head.

The victim was the 35-year-old Lundin Hathcock. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but didn’t make it.

Gilford then allegedly left the library and went to a nearby QuickTrip convenience store, where he again shot an unsuspecting man in the back of the head.

The victim, 55-year-old James McDaniel, fell to the ground, upon which Gifford allegedly shot him again. The victim died on the spot.

Surveillance footage showed that Gilford also fired rounds at a security guard and another person outside the store, police said. When they arrived at the store, Gilford was standing outside. He admitted at the scene to shooting two people.

NTD Photo
Police arrest Carlton Gilford outside the QuickTrip store where he shot two people on April 18, 2023. (Courtesy of Tulsa Police Department)

Gilford has been arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of shooting with the intent to kill, and one count of malicious intimidation or harassment.

Hate crimes targeting people on the basis of their race is mentioned explicitly in Oklahoma law in the legal definition of “malicious intimidation or harassment.”

According to Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, the evidence suggests that Gilford, who is black, shot both men for no other reason than because of the color of their skin.

“The allegation in this charge is that race or color played a role in these shootings,” Kunzweiler told Newsweek. “Based upon the investigation, we have reason to believe that race played a role in the homicides. That evidence will be presented in front of a judge or jury. Mr. Gilford has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a judge or jury.”

Gilford is due to appear in court on June 23. He is currently being held without bond.

“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,” Kunzweiler told local broadcaster KOTV.

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