LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Lawton Police Department is still working around the clock to solve a murder in West Lawton and they need your help to bring those responsible to justice.
Detectives are still working to figure out what, exactly, led to the shooting death of Florence Groene on the night of September 9 in the 400 block of Northwest 55th Street. They are still trying to develop suspects in the case, so they need anyone in the community who has any information to come forward.
On September 9th at around 10:30 at night, police arrived in the 400 block of Northwest 55th street on a shots fired call. When they arrived, they found 23-year-old Florence Groene with a gunshot wound. She was taken to a hospital where she died from her injuries. Detective Charles Whittington said the detectives on the case are trying to piece the shooting together but need more information to paint the full picture.
"They know people have information have information about this shooting and they want them to step forward. A lot of times people do not step forward just for the fact of possible retaliation or they’re afraid. I want everyone to know they can call 355 - INFO or log on to their website and remain anonymous,’ Whittington said.
Detective Whittington said if you call or submit a tip online, it will go directly to him, meaning no one else will ever see it. And, if you choose not to give him your name, even he will not know where the tip is coming from. You also can receive a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest. Jerry Hrnciar has been on the Crime Stoppers board since the mid-1980s and said in that time, he’s seen how big of an impact the program can truly have on a community. He said since its inception in southwest Oklahoma, more than 3,000 people have been arrested thanks to Crime Stoppers tips.
"We’ve expended about $410,000 worth of tip money and confiscated over $210 million worth of narcotics. It’s a significant impact on our community,” Hrnciar said.
Because of that impact, Hrnciar said in the last few years they’ve been working to grow Crime Stoppers in southwest Oklahoma. But Detective Whittington said that is not possible without the community doing their part. "This is everyone’s community. This is southwest Oklahoma. The civilians that live here, the citizens that live here, it’s the police departments job to serve and protect but it’s also on some level their job to serve and protect. If you have information it’s doing the right thing, it’s stepping forward and saying it here,” Whittington said.
Whittington urges anyone with any information about Groene’s murder or any other crimes to come forward. In addition to giving a voice to the victim, he said you can give much needed closure to the victim’s family. You can reach Crime Stoppers at 355 - INFO or here.