Joshua Muller, the 33 year-old man who police say murdered two Tulsa children and wounded a third that remains in critical condition, was found cowering the woods near Lawton early this afternoon. Tulsa Police Dispatch informed the force at about 4 pm.
Muller fled to Lawton immediately after the killings at approximately 3 AM Sunday morning. According to police, Muller went in search of the youths when told by his wife, Cinnamon, that the girls had stolen her wallet when she was with them at the Rose Room, a Tulsa nightclub. Reports indicate that Cinnamon and the two girls went to the nightclub and that Cinnamon was the subject of an assault. After the assault, Cinnamon’s wallet was allegedly missing. She is said to have blamed one of the girls for the missing wallet and went home to tell Joshua Muller her wallet had been stolen.
News reports say that Joshua Muller retrieved two long rifles and put them into his Dodge Ram when he went in search of the little girls. Moments later, witnesses say Muller found the girls at a convenience store in the 1900 block of North Lewis Ave. At that point, the girls were in a Dodge Durango truck and were accompanied by 16 year old Derriko Ross. Witnesses say Muller rammed the Durango with his truck and then opened fire on the trio, killing Ross, 12 year old Leah Harris-Fuqua, and shooting the third 12 year old girl.
Within hours of the incident, police had a warrant for Muller’s arrest charging him with two counts of first degree murder and one count of shooting with intent to kill. Police alerted officials in the Lawton area when it was learned that Muller had roots in the Comanche County city.
Officers in the Lawton area were looking for Muller when they received information that he had arrived in the area at about 9:30 Sunday morning and gone to the home of a friend, Ray Mills. Mills had been a coworker and neighbor of Muller in the past and told police he had not seen Muller in over a year. Reportly, the two went to breakfast and then returned home. Mills had just left the home when sheriff’s deputies and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers surrounded the home, believing Muller was still inside. A tactical action began and after a few hours of waiting, tear gas was launched into the home. When officers entered they discovered that Muller had fled again.
On Tuesday morning, another sighting of Muller was reported when the wife of a sheriff’s deputy called and said she had seen a man fitting Muller’s description in the area. Sheriff’s deputies arrived and were speaking to the man when he bolted, fleeing into the wooded area. A perimeter was established and a massive manhunt began.
Throughout the day on Tuesday local law enforcement maintained the perimeter, looking for any sign of Muller. Wednesday, police began responding to calls that might have indicated Muller’s presence. Police were investigating a report in which a woman heard a cough in the night. Investigating officers determined that a nearby woodpile had been disturbed and tried to get K-9 officers to track the scent but to no avail. A reported incident in which a car was the subject of an attempted theft sparked another point for K-9 officers to start a track but no track could be established. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, an officer on the perimeter was watching some strange movement in the woods. The officer called in Highway Patrol Troopers to enter the area and when they arrived, Muller gave up without a struggle.
Muller’s charges carry the possibility of the death penalty if he is found guilty in the murders. The third child remains in critical condition at a Tulsa hospital at this time.