Cherokee Nation officials have confirmed two separate homicides occurred in Stilwell, on the tribe's reservation, within the past 24 hours.
Due to the Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling, which affirmed tribal sovereignty over criminal cases on reservation land, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over both cases.
“Department of Justice guidelines do not allow [me] to provide more information at this time. Out of respect for the ongoing investigation, we will continue to refrain from commenting on its substance,” said FBI Public Affairs Officer Megan Lauro.
However, Cherokee Nation Communications Deputy Executive Director Josh Newton released more details. Newton said Cherokee Nation Marshal Service worked the cases in Adair County
“The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service arrested Darrell James Hummingbird, 37, a Cherokee Nation citizen, of Stilwell on tribal charges of murder Tuesday,” said Newton. “Hummingbird was allegedly involved in an altercation with another male, and is accused of killing the victim at Skywood Apartments in Stilwell.”
Hummingbird was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center on a tribal warrant. The homicide is still under investigation.
Around 1:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 27, CN deputy marshals responded to a house in Stilwell on a report of an attempted burglary.
“A homeowner reportedly discharged a firearm at an intruder, killing the intruder. Neither the shooter nor the alleged intruder’s names, both Cherokee citizens, are being released at this time,” said Newton.
The Marshal Service and FBI are investigating that case.
“The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service continues to uphold our duty to protect and serve, while maintaining safety in the Cherokee Nation Reservation and ensuring that justice is served for victims and their families,” CN Marshal Shannon Buhl said. “We appreciate the Stilwell Police Department, Adair County Sheriff’s Office and federal investigators for their assistance on these cases.”
District Attorney Jack Thorp said the FBI is who would be filing charges for the two separate homicides, Lauro had confirmed that until charges are filed, no information would be forthcoming from that agency.