Lawton P.D. Investigating 14th Homicide of the Year

A shooting Wednesday night in Lawton becomes the city's 14th homicide of the year. It happened just after 11:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Southwest D Avenue.

Lawton police say three people were in a vehicle that was riddled with bullets last night. They say one in the vehicle was killed and another was injured. But they also say a resident was injured after a stray bullet entered a home.

With 14 homicides already this year, the city is on track to surpass last years total of 16, as well as the the record of 18 which was set in 1973,

"I'd rather not have a single homicide, much less 14 of them."

But that's the number the Lawton Police Department has worked so far this year, after a near record number last year. Crime tape kept people away from the scene more than 12 hours after shots rang out here riddling a car with bullets that police say came to rest in this field off Southwest D Avenue.

"It's not that bad of an area.  It just sounds like something got out of control and guns were pulled and fired," says Capt. Craig Akard with the Lawton Police Department.

Things getting out of control and guns being pulled is becoming more common here in recent years. Police say the rise in crime is a sign of the times.

"It seems nowadays that more people are grabbing a gun.  If they is just a minor disturbance or argument instead of arguing about it they just decide to take a gun and do something about it that way.  That's disturbing," Capt. Akard says.

Police say they are looking to hire more officers to address the escalating crime but they say that won't solve the problem.

"It's gonna take the involvement of the police the community, citizens.  It's gonna take an effort by everybody," Capt. Akard explains.

Police say the vehicle driver, 31 year old Arthur Pekah was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the hospital. They say his passenger, 34-year old Bradley Portillo, was shot in the face and was treated and released from the hospital.

They say a third passenger, 55 year old Camella Mund, Pekah's mother, was not injured. And according to officials, Robert Hart was injured after a stray bullet went through his front door and grazed his stomach.

So far police have made no arrests and will not say at this time if they have any "persons of interest." 

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