Stray bullet kills devoted father in Best Buy shooting
BY AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer
Monday, July 16, 2012
7/16/12 at 7:35 AM
Related Story: Best Buy shootings may be linked to earlier homicides, police say
Graydon Wesley "Wes" Brown had two great loves: his 10-year-old daughter and contra dancing, his sisters said.
"He loved to dance," Brown's sister Gracelyn Brown said. "His other great passion, besides his daughter, was contra dancing. He created and sponsored the Tulsa Barn Dance, which he held every Saturday, and that was his gift to the community."
Brown, 58, was fatally shot inside the Best Buy at 5520 E. Skelly Drive on Saturday afternoon. He'd brought his 10-year-old daughter to buy a gift for her mother when they stopped to look at DVDs before leaving the store.
"They were just standing there, holding hands ... and (his daughter) said that all of a sudden there was this spray of material and her dad held his chest," said Anitra Brown, another of Brown's sisters. "He said 'Oh my God,' and he fell back."
Anitra Brown and shoppers at the store Saturday said a nurse ran to Wes Brown's aid and began giving him CPR. He was dead upon arrival to St. Francis Hospital, Anitra Brown said.
"We always told each other that we loved each other," she said of a recent phone conversation she had with her brother. "That's a comfort that that never went unsaid."
Wes Brown was struck in the upper chest by an errant round as a gunman fired more than a dozen shots at Scott Dewayne Norman, 34, who was outside the store's entrance, police said. Norman suffered eight gunshot wounds and was believed to be targeted in connection with several gang-related homicides in recent years. Norman was also pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital after the shooting.
Wes Brown graduated from Ponca City High School in 1971 and worked as a software programmer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma.
He is survived by his wife, Kelly; his daughter; mother, Marquetta Griswold Brown; and three sisters, Gracelyn and Anitra Brown, and Jolly Brown Pugh.
Services are pending with Stanleys Funeral Service.
In addition to Tulsa Barn Dance, he was active in the Florence Park Neighborhood Association and served as treasurer for the group.
"He was really like the heart of this neighborhood," said neighbor Sue Arrington, who has known Wes Brown for about four years. "... He just really went out of his way to help people."
A regular meeting of the neighborhood association was held Sunday. Many of Wes Brown's neighbors were still in shock.
"I keep waiting for him to call and say 'It wasn't me,' " said Lance Woolsey, the association's president.
Those gathered remembered him as a kind and gentle soul who was enthusiastic about everything he did. They recalled him spending entire afternoons making daisy chains at the park with his daughter.
"He was always the welcome wagon," said Woolsey's wife, Elizabeth Jones.
Kevin Kirby said he was the kind of neighbor anyone would want.
The group also expressed outrage for the apparent randomness of his death.
Arrington said she would never have expected such a thing to happen in a busy commercial area such as where the store is located.
"These are things that are unacceptable," said Dale McNamara, referring to the shooting and other violent crimes in Tulsa.
Neighborhood association members at the meeting discussed ways to support the Brown family. Several ideas were suggested, including hanging ribbons in his favorite color, teal, on street corners and airing their concerns about violence in Tulsa to the city council.
"Our city government needs to come forth with a full-on assault on these gang leaders and gang members," neighbor Theresa Bowers said on an internal social-media site the association uses. "Tulsa should set forth a 'zero tolerance' approach to gang-related violent crime."
Meanwhile, Wes Brown's sisters urgently plead for leads on the case.
They hope someone associated with Scott Norman will come forward to assist police in their investigation.
The Brown family and Tulsa police encourage anyone with information on the homicides to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS (2677). Tipsters can also submit tips online or through text message. Instructions are available at tulsaworld.com/crimestoppers
Original Print Headline: Victim was loving father, devoted to community
Amanda Bland 918-581-8413
Siblings Anitra Brown (left), Jolly Brown Pugh, Gracelyn Brown and Wesley Brown pose for a photo. Wesley Brown was fatally shot outside a Tulsa Best Buy on Saturday. ANITRA BROWN / Courtesy
Graydon Wesley Brown: A neighbor says he was the "heart" of their community.