Paper trail for Elmer Thomas Park shooting leads to questions of a hit

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The Lawton Police Department has identified the victim of the Elmer Thomas Park shooting as John Velas.

No one has been arrested for the shooting, but the same day Velas was shot, police booked his estranged wife into jail for solicitation of murder.

Susen Hunter and Velas have had a legal history since filing for divorce in November of 2020. Just six days later, Hunter filed the first of two emergency protective orders against her husband, who was arrested for violations multiple times.

But it was Velas who filed a police report on August 16, claiming his life was in danger.

7News obtained a copy of the report. In it, Velas said he’d been approached by someone who claimed Hunter had tried to hire him to murder her estranged husband, and said she’d tried to hire three people in the past to do the same.

The report said Velas recorded the conversation and gave a copy to investigators.

But just over two weeks later, he was found dead of a single gunshot wound in Elmer Thomas Park.

The investigation into who shot Velas is ongoing. Lawton police say they aren’t commenting on the case at this time, but you can count on us to keep you updated as we learn more.