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April 9th, 2012
10:01 AM ET

Police probe possible racial motive in Tulsa killings

By Susan Candiotti, CNN

Tulsa, Oklahoma (CNN) - Police are investigating whether the shootings of five African-Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were a hate crime after the weekend arrests of two white suspects in the case, local authorities said Sunday.

Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, are scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning. Tulsa police arrested them early Sunday after a series of tips that led investigators to England's burned pickup, a vehicle that matched a description reported at the crime scenes, according to their arrest reports.

The shootings left three dead and two wounded. Both suspects are charged with three counts of murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill, police said.

"We're going to explore any possible motives," Police Chief Chuck Jordan told reporters Sunday afternoon. But he said the investigation was still going on, and Jim Finch, the head of the FBI's Oklahoma office, said Sunday that it was "premature" to talk about hate crimes.

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