A man has been charged with the murder of two strangers in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in what authorities are calling a racially motivated hate crime. Carlton Gilford allegedly shot and killed two men with no prior connection to him on April 18, according to the Tulsa Police Department.
The suspect reportedly entered the Rudisill Library around 9:40 a.m., approached a man sitting at a desk, and shot him in the back of the head. The victim, 35-year-old Lundin Hathcock, was taken to the hospital where he later died. Following the library incident, Gilford allegedly went to a nearby convenience store and shot 55-year-old James McDaniel in the back of the head, resulting in his death at the scene.
Surveillance footage showed that Gilford also fired shots at a security guard and another individual outside the convenience store. Upon the arrival of law enforcement officers, he was standing outside the store and confessed to shooting the two victims.
Gilford, who is Black, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill, and one count of malicious intimidation or harassment, which serves as Oklahoma’s equivalent of a hate crime. According to Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, the evidence suggests that race was a factor in the shootings, with both victims being White.
Gilford is due in court on June 23 and is currently being held without bond due to concerns for public safety.