Monday, the Equality Center in downtown Tulsa was the victim of two separate cases of vandalism.
Executive Toby Jenkins said someone in a truck drove by and fired shots at the front doors in the morning, then, Monday afternoon, someone lashed out at the people inside the center.
Jenkins said this is the first time they’ve experienced vandalism at the building in the more than 10 years it’s been open.
Security video shows a white truck drive by and fire more than a dozen times at the Equality Center. The office administrator noticed it when she arrived at 8 a.m., but the shooting itself happened around 12:30 Monday morning.
Jenkins said he was shocked when he received the call about the incident, but he was even more shocked when another man personally attacked the center Monday afternoon.
Jenkins said around 3:00 p.m., a man walked through the front doors and called them homosexual slurs and even said he wished they were dead.
“He was a veteran and he wishes he had never fought for our freedoms. So we’re not real sure what’s made the world go mad, but after 12 years I thought this kind of reaction to our presence here was over, but apparently it’s not,” Jenkins said.
He said the Tulsa Police Department recently appointed an LGBT liaison, and that in itself at least gives them a little bit of comfort.
The board of directors chose to keep the center open Monday and programming continued like normal, the release states.
Oklahomans for Equality Board President Geoffrey Brewster issued a statement following the incident:
“I am sickened, yet not surprised, by the bullet holes that now riddle the front of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. They are the latest reminder of the deep-seated hatred some individuals have towards the LGBTQ community. Oklahomans for Equality condemns every act of hatred and violence perpetrated against any individual or group based upon difference…”
The center’s staff said it’s working closely with TPD.
View the surveillance video below, or click here to view it.
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