Social Media Helps OKC Police ID Murder Suspect

Thursday, March 6th 2014, 5:42 pm
By: News 9

Online chatter helped Oklahoma City police detectives identify a murder suspect. Now, officers are anxious to get the man in handcuffs.

Christopher Douglas Benson, 28, is the only suspect from a weekend slaying at Bricktown's Club Social.

Members of the police department's media relations office were confident that a surveillance video picture of the suspect would generate attention and help in the investigation. On Tuesday, the media relations team distributed pictures of the suspect to media organizations and posted them to Facebook and Twitter.

3/5/2014 Related Story: Warrant Issued For Suspect In Deadly Bricktown Shooting

"It appears that [social media] played a huge role in helping us get [Benson] identified as the suspect in this case," MSgt. Gary Knight said.

News 9 aired the images on Tuesday. Moments later, social media sites lit up. Knight received tips from News 9's Facebook page as well as others. He sent each tip to homicide detectives.

"There's been all sorts of social media chatter about this case," said Knight.

3/1/2014 Related Story: Police Search For Gunman After Deadly Shooting In Bricktown

By Wednesday, police had more than enough evidence to get a judge to sign an arrest warrant for Benson. Officers say Benson randomly shot into a crowd at Club Social all because security guards told him to leave. Zachary Bowie of Spencer was killed in the shooting.

"A lot of people were here, and it was scary," said Katie Collins, who works near the club.

3/3/2014 Related Story: OKC Police Identify Victim In Bricktown Shooting

Police hope social media will continue its magic by leading officers Benson's hideout. If you know where police might be able to find Benson, call (405) 297-1200.

To visit the Oklahoma City Police Department's social media sites, click here:

Oklahoma City Police Facebook Page.

Oklahoma City Police Twitter Page.

News 9's Facebook Page.

News 9's Twitter Page.