Update: Police say OKC shooting not tied to Thunder game; Arrests made
UPDATE #4, May 23, 11:26 AM: Police have made a second arrest in the case, a 17-year-old minor.
The first arrest was of 19-year-old Rodney Hill. No charges have been filed but both are being held on the complaint of shooting with intent to kill.
UPDATE #3 9:45 PM: Oklahoma City Police have made an arrest in the case. From the AP:
Police say Rodney Hill was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, but no other details have been released. Capt. Dexter Nelson says the shooting didn’t appear connected to the playoff game, which Oklahoma City won to advance to the NBA Western Conference finals.
Basically, it looks like a fight outside a bar escalated and there just happened to be thousands of people around exiting a game. It had nothing to do with the team. Still the Thunder will be under pressure to step up security for future games.
UPDATE #2 5:13 PM: Oklahoma City Police are now saying that the shooting was not related to the Thunder game at all. From the Associated Press:
Men and women fighting? I thought that only happened in New York?
Obviously (even before this report) this was not on the Thunder, this was on people who look for trouble and used this as an excuse. Sadly, it happens everywhere (see: soccer hooligans). That said, the Thunder said they would work with police to up their security for future games, including Thunder Alley where games are shown outside the arena.
UPDATE 8:45 AM: The final tally was eight people injured — seven of them shot and one person was critically wounded, plus a pregnant woman was punched in the abdomen — according to the Oklahoman. There have been no arrests in the case. Yet.
The incident took place just a few blocks from the arena where the game was played. Police estimate there were about 5,000 people in the area when the shooting took place. The area is where a lot of people park or go out after the games. There have been growing crowds — in addition to the packed building about 5,000 people watched the game on a big screen outside the arena, an area called Thunder Alley. The shootings did not take place in the arena or Thunder Alley but did involve the crowd from the game.
It’s unfortunate this kind of thing happens, but it’s not unprecedented. For example, the Lakers used to show playoff games on a projection outside Staples Center when it first opened more than a decade ago (the Shaq/Kobe Lakers era) but stopped after fan violence following a win.
2:27 am: Multiple people have been wounded by gunfire near the Thunder’s arena in downtown Oklahoma City in the wake of the Thunder win over the Los Angeles Lakers. A win that sent them to the Western Conference Finals.From the Oklahoman:
Multiple people were shot downtown shortly after the Thunder game let out Monday night, police said….
One person was shot in the back, another in the upper arm and a third in the hand, according to police radio traffic. Victims are still turning up to hospitals. The victims’ conditions are not yet known.
Two suspected shooters are in custody at the Bricktown Harkins Theater, Oklahoma City police Capt. Lisa Camacho said.
We don’t have a lot of details yet, we don’t know about the suspects or their motives. That said, there no excuse. It grows frustrating to see every time a team wins — hockey in Vancouver, college basketball in Lexington and the list goes on around the world — there seems to have to be violence afterwards.
PBT will update this as we get more information.