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Hit-and-run driver targets homeless, kills 1

Posted at 11:17 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-04 23:17:47-04

TULSA, OK (KTUL/CNN) - Oklahoma police say a driver intentionally ran over three people sleeping under a bridge on Monday. All three victims are homeless, and one man died from his injuries.

"This is tragic. This is horrific,” said the Rev. Steve Whitaker of John 3:16 Mission. Whitaker is still trying to wrap his head around it.  “In my 28 years of ministry at John 3:16 Mission, I have never seen an event like this," he said.  

Three people he's known for years targeted for no apparent reason.  "They are some people that we regularly take care of. We feed them, they come to chapel, they get help here,” he said.

Police say that around 6 a.m. on Monday, a pickup truck driver hit three people sleeping under the bridge downtown. One man is dead. A woman has been sent to the hospital. A third person, a man, was barely grazed by the truck. 

Police are calling it anything but an accident. "The pickup truck actually circled the block a couple of times before coming back and then driving up over the curb and driving down the sidewalk to run over these individuals,” said Sgt. Stephen Florea of the Tulsa Police. He adds the driver never braked and then drove away from the scene. 

The incident is causing concern among folks who stop by John 3:16 Mission.  "People just don't have the love nowadays. They're going to do what they want to,” a man said.

Police only have a vague description of the driver: A white man in his 40s who was driving a white mid-80s or mid-90s truck. But luckily, surveillance footage from John 3:16 will help find him. "The best security you can buy. So, we've got great HD video of all that happened,” Whitaker said.  

Police say new surveillance footage revealed the vehicle is the same truck from another hit-and-run on Monday morning. That victim, who police say was also homeless, was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.

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