Authorities believe that murder suspect killed his victims because they were white

A man from Tulsa County has been charged with a hate crime, in addition to two counts of first-degree murder, in connection with the shooting deaths of two innocent victims. Carlton Gilford is accused of killing Lundin Hathcock at the Rudisill Library and James McDaniel at a nearby QuikTrip, both incidents taking place minutes apart.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler announced that, based on evidence gathered thus far, they believe Gilford targeted the two victims because they were white. In Oklahoma, hate crimes are classified as malicious intimidation or harassment, which is a misdemeanor.

Kunzweiler expressed confidence in the prosecution’s ability to demonstrate that race played a role in the attacks, adding that the evidence will be presented to a judge or jury alongside all other relevant information.

In addition to the hate crime and murder charges, Gilford faces two counts of shooting with intent to kill for firing at two QuikTrip employees, who were fortunately unharmed. According to investigators, Gilford shot both Hathcock and McDaniel in the head from behind, and continued to shoot McDaniel after he was on the ground. Gilford allegedly reloaded his gun and fired at McDaniel’s head once more.

Gilford is currently being held without bond in the Tulsa County Jail. Prosecutors argue that his detention is necessary to ensure public safety, as his alleged crimes targeted individuals he did not know, escalating the level of danger to the community.

Further details regarding the hate crime charges have not yet been disclosed by prosecutors. These details are expected to emerge as the case progresses through the court system.