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1 dead, 7 injured in shooting at Oklahoma Festival

TAFT, Okla. – Authorities said a 26-year-old man was in custody after one person was killed and seven people injured in a shooting early Sunday at an outdoor festival in eastern Oklahoma, where witnesses described seeing desperate people amid gunfire ran for cover.

A warrant was issued for Skyler Buckner’s arrest and he turned himself in to the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office Sunday afternoon, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. OSBI said those shot dead at the Memorial Day event in Taft, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa, ranged in age from 9 to 56 years.

A 39-year-old woman was killed, OSBI said. The injuries to the injured were not considered life-threatening.

OSBI had previously said two youths were injured in the shooting but said Sunday afternoon only one youth was injured.

Witnesses said an argument preceded the shooting just after midnight, the agency said.

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“We heard a lot of gunfire and at first thought it was fireworks,” said Sylvia Wilson, an owner of Taft’s Boots Cafe, which was open at the time to serve a flood of visitors to the small town for the gathering. “Then people start running and crouching. And we all yelled… ‘Get down! Get off!” Wilson told The Associated Press over the phone from the cafe on Sunday morning.

About 1,500 people attended the event in Taft, which normally has a population of just a few hundred. Members of the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office were present and immediately began providing assistance, OSBI said.

“Bullets literally went everywhere,” said Jasmayne Hill, who worked on a food truck during the event Tulsa world.

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Hill said she and Tiffany Walton, the food truck owner, jumped to the bottom of the truck to avoid the bullets.

“We think we’re safe, and the bullets are like going through the floor of a food truck,” Hill said. “They didn’t hit us, thank God.”

Neicy Bates and her husband were serving another food truck when the shots rang out. She told Tulsa World that most people “just went down and tried to get out of the way.”

“People just screamed. Some tried to run away. Cars drove away trying not to run over each other,” she said.

Walton, who lives in Taft, said the city has held a multi-day festival over Memorial Day weekend for decades.

Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma said on Twitter that he was grateful for OSBI’s “quick response in support of local police.”

Wilson estimated that their cafe is about 30 meters from where the shooting broke out. She said law enforcement had been on the scene earlier to help with security and officers responded quickly to the shooting.

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“We’re upset,” Wilson said, adding, “But everything’s going back to normal … The danger has passed.”

Buckner was being held at the Muskogee County Jail on Sunday. No attorney was listed for him in the prison records.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/2022/05/29/agency-1-dead-7-injured-in-oklahoma-festival-shooting/ 1 dead, 7 injured in shooting at Oklahoma Festival

Sarah Y. Kim

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