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Murder suspect captured

November 27, 2022 - 00:00
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Five Chinese nationals shot, four killed, in local grow house ‘execution’

  • Murder suspect captured
  • Murder suspect captured
  • Murder suspect captured
    SUSPECT CAPTURED — Wu Chen, 45, is shown in an ID photo and after his arrest Tuesday in a photo taken by the Miami Police Department, inset left and right. He has waived extradition and will be returned to Kingfi sher County to face charges. He is alleg

A 45-year-old Chinese man suspected in a Sunday night quadruple homicide authorities are calling an execution was arrested just before 4 p.m. Tuesday in Miami Beach, Fla., according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Wu Chen, who is listed as a Hennessey resident on an online traffic citation issued in September, was arrested without incident by the Miami Beach Police Department on a Kingfi sher County warrant.

Kingfisher County Sheriff Dennis Banther said late Wednesday morning that Chen signed an extradition waiver and is not contesting his return to the county to face anticipated murder and shooting with intent to kill charges in connection with the slaying at a marijuana grow house west of Hennessey.

Banther is in the process of arranging deputies’ travel to pick Chen up and return him to the county.

Chen was stopped by police after a car tag reader flagged the vehicle he was driving, according to an OSBI report. He was transported to the Miami Dade County Detention Center where he will remain jailed until he’s brought back to Oklahoma.

Chen is suspected of killing three men and one woman, all now identified as Chinese nationals, in what OSBI is describing as an execution.

“Based on the investigation thus far, this does not appear to be a random incident,” according to the OSBI’s Tuesday update.

Another man, also a Chinese national, survived the shooting and was found lying in the bed of a black pickup truck parked at the scene, Banther said.

The seriously wounded man was air-flighted to an Oklahoma City hospital.

“This was one of the worst criminal acts our offi ce has ever encountered,” Banther said. “This was a senseless act of violence. I look forward to the justice system bringing this man forward and determining his fate.”

The victims have not been identified pending next-of-kin notification, which has been delayed due to the language barrier, according to the OSBI.

The marijuana grow facility is owned by a company identified in the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s online data base as Liu and Chen Inc., Kingfisher County Sheriff Dennis Banther said.

However, the company’s license to operate the facility expired Nov. 1. Chen’s relationship to the company, if any, and to the five shooting victims is still under investigation.

Updated information released by the OSBI about 3 p.m. Tuesday alleges that the male suspect (now identified as Chen) entered a building on the grow operation about 5:25 p.m. Sunday.

Several employees were inside the building, which Banther described as a detached garage adjacent to a red brick residence. The OSBI update said the suspect was inside “a significant amount of time before the executions began.”

According to information provided by Banther, the sheriff’s office received a call about 7:24 p.m. Sunday reporting a potential hostage situation at the scene.

Once deputies arrived and attempted to secure the location on N 2760 Road west of Hennessey, they discovered the wounded victim, who received immethe diate medical attention and was flown by helicopter to an Oklahoma City hospital.

Deputies discovered the other four victims, all dead from apparent gunshot wounds, in their subsequent search of the property.

“The initial deputies who secured the area and Hennessey Fire Department and Life EMS, who quickly moved the injured man to a separate landing zone for the air ambulance, all showed bravery as well as professionalism with the threat of danger still present,” Banther said.

The OSBI immediately was called in to assist the search of the 10-acre property, which Banther said included more than 80 grow houses.

A Chinese interpreter, located by operators in the county’s 911 dispatch center, also was brought in to assist with witness interviews, Banther said.

Banther commended all the entities who contributed to Chen’s speedy arrest, including the OSBI, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, as well as Associate District Judge Lance Schneiter and District Attorney Mike Fields, who responded to early morning hour phone calls Monday.

“Their efforts were instrumental in securing search warrants as well as the arrest warrant,” he said. “I also want to thank the U.S. Marshal Service for accepting our request to hunt down this individual.”

Banther confirmed Tuesday that the OBN seized and destroyed all marijuana plants found on the scene when it was determined the grower’s OMMA license had expired.

Also on the scene Monday were Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Hennessey Fire Department, Life EMS, Air Evac Lifeteam and a medical examiner.

The marijuana grow facility is one of 72 in the county listed in the OMMA database and one of 7,585 growers in the state, according to the OMMA online database. Five growers are listed in the Hennessey area.

A total of 10 of the county’s grow facilities show expired licenses, according to the database. How many of those are still operating is unknown.

Banther said OBN is the agency currently assigned responsibility for policing alleged OMMA license violations after the Legislature changed course on earlier plans to appropriate $5 million to fund a “marijuana deputy” in each county sheriff’s office.

Kingfisher County also is home to 12 medical marijuana processors and seven dispensaries, according to the database.