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Man arrested on murder charge in Tulsa fatal shooting was on probation on aggravated assault conviction

Man arrested on murder charge in Tulsa fatal shooting was on probation on aggravated assault conviction

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The man charged with first-degree murder in the June 20 fatal shooting at Towne Square Apartments was arrested Thursday, according to online jail records.

Darian Ward, 20, whose address is listed as “homeless,” was booked into the Tulsa County jail Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm after felony convictions, as well as several applications to revoke suspended sentences, jail record show.

Ward was charged June 25 in the shooting death of Joel Russell, 42, who was shot in the neck June 20 in the 1600 block of East Young Street.

Ward had been convicted Jan. 28 in a September 2020 aggravated assault and was sentenced to five years in prison. The sentence was suspended, and he was released under Department of Corrections supervision, according to online court records.

When the murder charge was filed, an application to revoke the suspended sentence was also filed, online records show.

The application says Ward failed to report to his supervising authority and that the officer failed to locate Ward after many attempts.

Witnesses in the homicide case identified Ward, referring to him by his street name, and said they saw him searching for Russell to confront him about an interaction with his “current girlfriend,” according to an affidavit filed when Ward was charged. Witnesses said they saw him arguing with the victim and then run through the apartment complex and firing a shot at Russell. The shooter then ran back, saying, “I got his a—,” the witnesses said.

They identified Ward through a photo selection as the man they saw, according to the affidavit.

Before he died, Russell told a resident that Ward — also referred to by his street name — had shot him, the affidavit says.

Ward is being held in lieu of $1.07 million bond on the murder and firearm charges, as well as the applications to revoke, according to online jail records. He has a court date set for Saturday.


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