Violence may affect where people shop

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 7/17/2012 9:23 am Published: 7/16/2012 5:32 pm

A gang related double murder in midtown Tulsa on July 14th was still felt in Tulsa days later.

A gunman shot and killed 34-year old Scott Norman outside a Best Buy store.  A stray bullet also took the life of Wesley Brown, a father who was holding the hand of his ten year old daughter while they shopped for a birthday gift for her mother.

The general manager says out of respect for the customers and the victim’s and their families, they want to make sure the window pain is fixed and all signs of the shooting are cleaned up before they re-open.

Best Buy in midtown has been closed since Saturday putting a dent in its sales numbers, but this isn’t the first time a midtown shopping center has had to deal with this level of crime.

In May, 2011 at 21st and Yale, Billy Hamons had a hostage with him when he fired shots inside a WalMart and later killed a man nearby while trying to steal his car. It’s a day Lequita Wilson remembers well because it changed her shopping routine.

“I did wait a little bit, not too much longer but just a little bit until everything died down like a week or so,” says Wilson.

Even over a year later, it’s difficult for Nancy Sucila to shop in the area.

"I’m trying not to go to Wal Mart right now to shop for awhile. I'm going to go to other places,” says Sucila.

We did some checking with nearby businesses to find out how the violence impacted their sales numbers. McAlister’s told us the shooting affected them for an hour or so after and then people came in as usual.

Next door, the owner of Freckles says their sales are down from last year, but he’s not sure if the shooting had something to do with it. Never the less, he’s been working on more security like a second panic button for employees in danger.

Across the street at Panda Express, sales are actually up 20 percent.

For shoppers like Dante Moore, the recent violence is never far from his mind.

"Yes, you think about it. You definitely think about it,” says Moore.

There were grief counselors on hand at Best Buy following Saturday’s shooting to the employees deal with what happened. Right now, they hope to re-open Tuesday.

Tulsa police have a grainy image of the Best Buy shooting suspect. He’s believed to be between the ages of 25 and 35 years old, around five feet, six inches tall, weighing 180 pounds and had a scraggly beard. He was last seen wearing a white jersey with a number four on the back and above that were the words, "Let’s Eat."

If you’ve seen this person, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers. That number is 918-596-COPS.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

aleman - 7/19/2012 4:09 PM
0 Votes
I also travel away from Tulsa to shop and won't go into a Wal-Mart even if I have to pay a little more.

watchdog11 - 7/19/2012 11:35 AM
0 Votes
I shop a lot in Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby and Owasso now. Might be a little drive, but I feel a lot safer. Don't do much shopping in Tulsa at all now. Note to whomever wrote this story, the glass you put over the window is spelled "pane" not "pain" although this shooting is most likely a pain to Best Buy.

aleman - 7/17/2012 6:22 PM
0 Votes
Really,"Night of The Living Dead".Hell,you don't know,maybe the drive thru people are one of them.

mustangdriver - 7/17/2012 3:44 PM
0 Votes
Yea, the drive thru places in that area are probably experiencing a boost in sales, no one wants to get out of their vehicle. haha :)

aleman - 7/16/2012 5:53 PM
1 Vote
I won't let my mom go to a Wal-Mart by herself.The one on Admiral is a zombie fest the rest of them not much better.
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