MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 18, 2013

Charges against two in shooting of five at Hmong New Year’s festival in Tulsa


— TULSA (AP) — Prosecutors filed charges Friday against two men accused of shooting five people at a Hmong New Year’s festival in Tulsa.

A court document states 21-year-old Boonmlee Lee and 19-year-old Meng Lee each face one count of shooting with intent to kill and five counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Police have said they do not know how the Lees are related.

Jail records indicate both men are scheduled to be in court on Monday. No attorney was listed in court records for the men.

The Lees and the five injured people are all ethnic Hmong.

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.

Prosecutors believe one victim was likely targeted at Saturday’s festival because he mediated a dispute involving the defendants’ family and the dispute was not resolved in their favor.

The suspects were arrested shortly after the shooting. 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.