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Police Chief: law enforcement presence to increase during Tahlequah football games

During a Monday, Aug. 28 chat session, Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King provided updates to last week’s homicide.


On Aug. 25, Officers were dispatched to a residence on Keetoowah Street where two men were involved in an altercation that involved a baseball bat. Emerson Hummingbird sustained severe injuries and died the next day at a Tulsa hospital. The homeowner, Christian Hooper was detained and was cooperative with detectives at the scene.


King said it was decided, while working with the Cherokee Nation Attorney General’s Office, to release Hooper.


“They were detained, they were cooperative, a search warrant was executed on the residence, and evidence was collected just in case, but at this time no arrest has been made,” King said.


In other business, King said one of the most pressing issues for his department are incidents at high school football games wherein a shooting has broken out.


“[I’ve] been in contact with the schools this morning. We’ll be formulating a plan and upping our security at the home football games to help protect those that are participating and those in attendance,” he said.


A 16-year-old was shot and killed during a high school football game Friday, Aug. 25. Video footage, which has since gone viral online, shows players, parents, children, and attendees fleeing the stadium after gunshots rang out during the third quarter of the Choctaw and Del City game.


A young female was shot in the thigh and two women were injured as they were running from the stadium.


The Mayes County sheriff said resource officers and deputies were tipped off that a juvenile was armed with a gun at the Locust Grove football game.


“My deputies immediately took the suspect away from the crowd and after a short disagreement, disarmed him [and] recovered a firearm on his person while inside the game,” Sheriff Mike Reed said.


King said the public will be informed on what they’ll need to do when the time comes for them to enter the football stadium.


“We’ll be working with the schools and probably providing extra officers besides the school resource officers to help combat that threat,” King said.


King updated the public on crime stats for August 2023; 27 property crimes; 72 arrests; 900 building checks; and 800 citizen contacts.

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