Arrest made in Bishop Kelley student's fatal shooting
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Monday, April 06, 2009
4/07/09 at 6:55 AM
Police have arrested a 17-year-old male in connection with the Saturday night slaying of his girlfriend or former girlfriend who was a Bishop Kelley High School student, authorities said.
Police records show that Theo Fleming of Tulsa was booked into the Tulsa Jail about 12:45 a.m. Sunday on a first-degree murder complaint.
Kaitlyn Finnegan, 18, was shot in the upper torso at a residence in the 5800 block of South 94th East Place, said Tulsa police Capt. Richard Alexander.
She was pronounced dead at 7:44 p.m., he said.
According to a police affidavit filed in the case, Fleming and two other people took Finnegan to St. Francis Hospital in Fleming's car after the shooting. Alexander said detectives are interviewing the other people.
Sgt. Mike Huff said there will be further investigation to see if any other parties are involved.
The case was initially reported as a drive-by shooting that occurred while Finnegan was walking a dog, but Huff said that has been ruled out.
"That's a totally fabricated story," Huff said.
After being placed in handcuffs, Fleming told officers that he accidentally shot Finnegan inside the residence, according to the affidavit.
Information in the case indicates that Finnegan and Fleming were in a relationship or had recently broken up.
"She was the sweetest girl you would ever meet," said Finnegan's friend Hanna Sumners. "I don't see how you can date somebody, get in an argument and just shoot her."
Sumners said her friend loved to play soccer and had a room full of soccer trophies.
The boy accused in her death attends Jenks Public Schools, Sumners said.
"When I heard, I was just in shock. I didn't think it was real," Sumners said.
The first time Finnegan's parents met Fleming was Saturday evening, when he showed up at their house to tell them their daughter was "sick" and in the hospital, Sumners said.
The parents and friends, including Sumners, rushed to the hospital but Finnegan had already died, she said.
Finnegan's car was found in the hospital parking lot; it was reportedly driven there by a witness. Sumners said another friend found a small black handgun in the passenger floorboard. The information was reported to police and the weapon was not touched, she said.
According to an affidavit, a .22 caliber pistol was recovered from the inside of Finnegan's vehicle at the hospital.
A few days before her death, Sumners said that Finnegan had told another male friend that she was pregnant with Fleming's baby.
Police would not confirm if Finnegan was pregnant.
"I think that's why he got so frustrated with her. I don't think he was ready for it," Sumners said of Fleming.
Witnesses said that inside the residence, Fleming was carrying a black, semi-automatic pistol in the front of his shorts and that the shot was fired in the living room.
The witnesses also reported that Fleming told them, as they were loading Finnegan into Fleming's vehicle to take her to the hospital, that he had shot her. One spent .22 caliber shell casing was recovered from the residence, the affidavit said.
There was an outpouring of sadness and disbelief on Finnegan's Facebook page.
The comments came from an uncle, who lamented not having gotten to know her better, to friends recalling the fun times they shared together, and how much they loved her and will miss her.
One friend wrote, "I cried at church today because all I could think about is how you are gone and its not a sick joke."
Bishop Kelley opened its chapel Sunday to all students, families and faculty.
On Monday, there will be an all-school prayer service. The counseling staff, ministry team and chaplain will be available throughout the day.
A Mass will be held after school.
"Young people deal with a lot these days," said Bishop Kelley President Alan Weyland. "It's pretty devastating for the family, friends and the community. It's just tragic and hard for our young people to understand why those things happen."
Susan Hylton 581-8381
Kaitlyn Finnegan: The 18-year-old Bishop Kelley student was shot and killed Saturday night. Police have arrested a suspect.