OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Police are searching for a suspect, while four people recover from gunshot wounds in the hospital, and a family reels from an unimaginable loss.
“He had a lot of knowledge. He was very smart,” said Nick Henderson, one of the victim’s high school football coaches.
“[He] always wants to be the best that he could be. Just a really good person. Really, really good person,” said Darwin Franklin, the victim’s other coach.
Thirty minutes after ringing in the new year, gunshots rang out near Northwest 10th and Hudson.
“There was a confrontation of some kind that had broken out inside of a business involving several people,” said Sgt. Dillon Quirk, with the OKC Police Department. “Those people were kicked out of the business.”
The fight spilled out into the parking lot. Police said before the unnamed suspect ran off, they said five people were hit by bullets. Four of them were rushed to the hospital. However, the fifth victim, 22-year-old Daniel Howard died at the scene.
“Still surreal, unnecessary,” said Franklin.
Howard was studying sociology at Fort Hays University. He once played for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. But, before all of that, Howard starred for the Millwood Falcons and was a member of the 2016 and 2017 State Championship teams.
“He actually started in the state championship game in 2017,” said Franklin.
Franklin and Henderson said Howard not only had the brawn, but the brains.
“He took his athletic ability along with what he knew and his knowledge, and he put it all together and it just made him play faster, quicker,” said Henderson.
“This is a blow. And stop with all this gunplay. Life is life is finite. There’s no coming back from this,” said Franklin.
Although he had graduated high school, Howard would come back to help coach the young players.
He was a son, teammate, friend, mentor, but had one role above all the rest.
“This kid is a father,” said Henderson.
“That’s one of the things that that hurts is leaving another young black male to grow up without a dad,” said Franklin.
“If you did it, turn yourself in,” said Henderson.
OKC Police said no arrests have been made.
Of the four people hurt, one is in critical condition while another is in serious condition.
A GoFundMe has been set up to benefit his family.