Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

October 14, 2013

2 in custody for shooting of 5 at Tulsa event

(Continued)

TULSA —

The suspects had thrown clothes and a semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the attack out of the vehicle, police said.

A witness at the party described the chaotic scene, as people lined up to get dinner were sent running and ducking for cover when the shots rang out. There were at least 200 people at the celebration, which festival-goers likened to a Thanksgiving celebration in America.

For Xiong, who was walking with her family to get dinner Saturday night at the festival, she heard a loud ‘pop’ sound, but didn’t think anything of it at first, believing it was a balloon.

“Then I realized we didn’t have any balloons over there, and then everyone started standing up and taking cover,” she recalled in an interview Sunday with The Associated Press. “Some people were crying already, and that scared us.”

Xiong said Sunday she did not know the two alleged gunmen and questioned why they showed up at the party.

“I’ve never seen them in my life,” she said. “They really don’t have common Hmong names, either,” she said. “I don’t know if they were from out of town or what.”

Spokeswomen for the two Tulsa hospitals where the victims were transported said they could not release information on the condition of the wounded Sunday, citing the ongoing police investigation.

But Xiathao Moua, the president of the Hmong American Association of Oklahoma, Inc., said he visited the two hospitals Sunday morning and said even though the victims sustained injuries from the shooting, they are expected to live. He would not elaborate further on the nature of the injuries to the victims, citing privacy concerns.

Moua described hearing the shots ring out Saturday night as some party guests were toasting with champagne and waiting in line to get dinner. What happened next, he said, was chaos and confusion.

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