Investigators say they’re chasing new leads every day to uncover what led to the killings of 4 men found in an Oklahoma river Saturday.
Terence Crutcher was being driven to court in neighboring Texas when he was shot dead by police three days after he was pulled over for a traffic violation. His shooting outraged the nation and sparked an outpouring of rage.
Now Oklahoma police find the bodies of four men they believe were murdered with Crutcher’s SUV, which police said could be connected to his shooting.
“They do not believe this is a random act,” said Lieutenant Fred Dean. “You’re talking about four individuals that all have something in common.”
Police said that information could be helpful in solving the murders of two fellow police officers, as well as the deaths of a truck driver who was a suspect in another crime.
“When you look at the information they have … what we know about the four individuals that we’ve located today, that’s enough to lead us to believe that they were all targeted,” Dean said.
Investigators are still piecing together the details of what happened, but what they believe has emerged is that the men who died were murdered in a series of violent attacks that ended when police cornered them on a dirt road.
“It’s very similar to a war crime where you have four or five individuals and they are attacked, and they are killed in a very violent way,” Dean said. “The only difference between that and this is, one was a police officer, and one was a citizen.”
It’s an open question as to whether four young men were targeted by Crutcher, but investigators say if he had been a threat to any of them, he would have been killed.
The man was heading to a court hearing in the state’s largest city in a bid to avoid charges of failure to appear in court. He had been out on bond for a previous charge in 2009 and was also being pursued by the Texas Rangers for allegedly selling cocaine.
Police have said Crutcher got out of the truck and started swinging at them