Tulsa police investigate the scene near Fifth Street and South 129th East Avenue, where a man was found dead, on Thursday, June 8, 2017. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World

The killing of a 16-year-old East Central High School student last week has left police and those who knew him wondering what led to his death.

“No one has a clue,” said Mario Choice, assistant principal and athletic director at Langston Hughes Academy and former coach of the student, Darrin “Da Da” Wilson. “That’s one of the more unsettling things — as to why this happened. It’s just so shocking.”

Wilson’s body was found Thursday morning face down on a vehicle trail in a field at 13500 E. Fourth St.

Police homicide Sgt. Dave Walker said there were signs of trauma, including blood on the back of Wilson’s head and on his shorts. No identification was found with the body.

Wilson was a sophomore at East Central, where he played on the junior varsity football team, said football coach Kevin Gordon.

Before attending East Central, he was a student at Langston Hughes Academy, where he participated in football and track.

Choice said Wilson was “a young man with potential” who had a “passionate gift” in bringing joy to others.

“He loved music; he loved social media,” Choice said. “Like most kids these days, he was always on social media.”

Gordon said Wilson was a good kid and always had a smile on his face.

“We never had any issues with him,” he said.

When he learned of Wilson’s death, his reaction was “shocked, sad and a bunch of emotions that run through you when something like this happens,” Gordon said.

Walker said the teen reportedly had been involved with “some stealing” and was “on the fringe of gang activity.”

“A number of those things can get you killed,” he said.

A homeless man who lives in the field discovered Wilson’s body around 9 a.m. Thursday while driving his van, Walker said last week.

Walker said the field is “well-known” to law enforcement and area residents. Stolen vehicles have been recovered in the area, he said.

Walker said Tuesday that investigators are focusing on the period between about 6 p.m. June 7 and when the body was found the next morning. He said there is a gap in Wilson’s whereabouts during those hours.

“He fell ill to somebody during that time,” Walker said, adding that the death is a confirmed homicide.

“We’re talking to a lot of people, but no one has been willing to give us a direction,” Walker said.

Anyone with information may contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 918-596-COPS (2677), online at p3tips.com/918 or through the Tulsa Tips app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play or iTunes stores.

The homicide tip line may also be reached at 918-798-8477 or emails sent to homicide@cityoftulsa.org.

A Go Fund Me page for Wilson’s funeral had raised $4,610 of its $5,000 goal as of Tuesday evening.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1124 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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Michael Dekker



Twitter: @michaeldekkerTW

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