TULSA (AP) — Tulsa prosecutors want two men arrested in the shooting of five people at a Hmong New Year’s festival to be held without bond pending trial, saying they present a risk to their community.
A document filed Tuesday in Tulsa district court alleges 21-year-old Boonmlee Lee and 19-year-old Meng Lee could be a threat to Hmong celebrations planned in Tulsa this month. They were arrested on five counts of shooting with intent to kill plus firearms charges in the attack at the Green County Event Center on Saturday night.
The accused men and the five injured are all ethnic Hmong.
Prosecutors said in a court filing that Boonmlee Lee is believed to be connected to the Menace of Destruction gang out of California. One of the victims was likely targeted because he mediated a dispute involving the defendants’ family, and the dispute was not resolved in their favor, prosecutors said.
Tulsa Police Officer Jillian Roberson said she did not know how the two Lees are related.
Both men are scheduled to appear in court on Monday. No attorney was listed in jail records for the men.
Hmong hail from Asian countries including Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Between 3,000 and 4,000 Hmong live in Tulsa, many arriving in recent years in search of jobs.
The suspects were arrested shortly after the shooting around 8 p.m. Saturday. A police helicopter spotted a car driving away from the scene with its headlights off and notified officers on the ground, who pulled it over.
The suspects had thrown clothes and a semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the attack out of the vehicle, police said.