WEWOKA, Okla. (KFOR) — The group arrested in connection to what officials are calling a gang war in Wewoka have had their mugshots released as the Seminole County District Attorney said more could be on the way.
“It nearly killed me,” said Vincent Watts, who claims he was a victim of one of the violent attacks.
He said he lost nearly everything during a house fire last week when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into his bedroom.
“It burned just about everything,” said Watts. “There was a shooting that had happened down the road that Saturday night and then I woke up early the next morning with the bottle coming through my window.”
Watts said that he was sleeping with a quilt that helped to protect him somewhat.
“I had the quilt on me and it kind of burned me a little bit but kept the glass from cutting me up,” said Watts.
He said he went to get a bucket to try and put out the fire himself but it was too late and burned much of his home.
“I saw ATF and Wewoka Fire show up to get it all out,” said Watts.
He is now set up in a hotel on the city’s outskirts hoping for help.
His house was one of several that lit up over that week and the week prior. Seminole County District Attorney Erik Johnson said that they are investigating if the fires were connected to the possible gang war.
The Wewoka Fire Department posted about other house fires that they responded to within a week of each other.
“That investigation is ongoing,” said Johnson at a press conference Thursday.
Officials announced that six people had been arrested in connection to the gang violence they had seen throughout the past couple of weeks. All six were arrested in Wewoka but none seem to have gang charges yet.
Timothy Camp and Cortez Camp were booked on October 28 and 29 at the Pottawatomie County Jail with both being held for federal violations, according to the jail records.
In Seminole County Jail, Jerod Ridenour was booked after allegedly being caught with stolen property. Mandell Carolina was booked on a fugitive from justice charge, Johnathan Hodge was booked on being a convicted felon with a firearm, and Bryan Huntley was booked on several charges including domestic assault and failing to pay tribal child support. All of this information was found through the jail records.
“So far, there have been 54 reported incidents of gunfire in Wewoka in the last year,” said DA Johnson at the presser.
The DA said that he anticipates many more arrests in the coming weeks and that there will be extra police presence throughout Wewoka.
The possible gang war is said to involve a shooting homicide at an E-Z Mart, a shooting outside of the Family Dollar, and house fires.
This isn’t the first time that Wewoka has seen gang violence lead to shots fired and someone killed. According to The Oklahoman, back in 1995, a 16-year-old was shot and killed in what the Wewoka Police Chief at the time called a gang shooting. The man arrested and eventually spent time behind bars for the crime was Derrick Jackson.
For those who live in Wewoka, many expressed how they wish their daily lives would go back to normal and that a sense of calm could come.
“I have strong confidence that these arrests will tamp down the violence we’ve been seeing,” said DA Johnson. “My officers, the agencies, and my office are like everyone else. We want to live in Wewoka safely, and peacefully, and just raise our families and go to work.”
As of Thursday night, the residents of Wewoka have pitched in money and time to give Watts extra clothes as well as essentials.
“Thank everybody in the town is helping me, everybody outside the state of Oklahoma that is helping me. I love y’all,” Vincent shouted just before the interview ended.