Four Chinese nationals killed at US weed farm
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Featured Image Credit: CBS/Shutterstock
Four Chinese nationals have been killed at a US weed farm in Oklahoma.
Three men and one woman were killed at the property, which spanned over 10 acres, while a fifth victim, who was also a Chinese citizen, was airlifted to a nearby hospital with unspecified injuries.
The bodies were discovered after police received a call reporting a hostage situation near the town of Hennessey, located 55 miles north of Oklahoma City.
The suspect entered a building located on the marijuana farm property at 17.45 local time on Sunday (23.45 GMT) while ‘several employees’ were inside the building, according to police reports.
The suspect stayed ‘inside that building for a significant amount of time before the executions began’, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported.
Wu Chen, 45, was arrested on Tuesday in Florida, 1500 miles away from the crime scene, according to law enforcement officials.
The suspect was detained at around 17.00 local time on Tuesday in Miami Beach after an automatic vehicle registration plate reader located his car in the area.
Chen was arrested without incident and is now awaiting extradition to Oklahoma, where police have stated that he is facing charges including homicide and shooting with intent to kill.
Police also said that the killings do not seem to be random, and have suggested that the gunman might have been acquainted with his victims.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Cpt Stan Florence said on Monday: "Don't know if they're related or if they're co-workers, but certainly these individuals were, we believe, all familiar with each other."
The state investigative agency became involved with the case after the Kingfisher County Sheriff's Office contacted them for assistance with the quadruple homicide.
Police searched the property on Sunday and Monday with drones, helicopters and patrolling officers, as per CBS.
As of now, the victims’ families have yet to be notified of their deaths due to a ‘significant language barrier’, the police claim.
However, it is still not clear whether the farm was licensed for the production of medical marijuana or not.
The state of Oklahoma allows the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, with the industry thriving since voters in the state legalised its use in 2018.
In March this year, residents in the state will vote on whether they should legalise the drug for recreational reasons and uses, too.
In the US, 21 states have allowed the recreational use of cannabis, while 37 states permit use of the drug for medicinal uses.