For Immediate Release
Jury Convicts Man for a Shooting that Resulted in a Woman Being Struck by a Bullet
A federal jury today convicted a Tulsa man for taking part in a shooting that resulted in a woman being struck in the back of the head while she was driving, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Michael Sam, 21, was found guilty of Assault with Intent to Commit Murder in Indian Country, Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in Indian Country, Assault Resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country, and two counts of Carrying and Using a Firearm during and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.
“Sam sought to settle a score when he recklessly shot into a car, missed his intended target, and struck a woman who was eight months pregnant. Not only did he have little regard for the individuals in the car, but he also endangered residents living in nearby homes,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Through a continuing, robust partnership between the AFT and Tulsa Police Department, Sam and other criminals have been brought to justice for the violent gun crime they commit in Tulsa’s neighborhoods.”
On April 8, 2019, the woman drove her boyfriend to a drug deal, where he arranged to illegally purchase Xanax. Sam was one of several individuals in the dealer’s car. Sam and the boyfriend knew one another from school. The boyfriend knew Sam did not like him and tried to shake his hand, but Sam refused. The boyfriend purchased the Xanax then returned to the car with the victim.
When they drove away, the victim noticed the dealer’s car following them in the rearview mirror. When she turned into a residential neighborhood, shots were fired from the dealer’s vehicle. A bullet struck the rear windshield, causing it to shatter then strike the victim in the back of the head. The victim lost control of the vehicle and hit a mailbox before coming to a stop. The boyfriend saw the dealers car, which Sam was in, drive by the crashed vehicle.
Another bullet went into a house in the neighborhood and was stopped by a glass door. The woman who lived in that house was home at the time in her living room.
A witness called 911 to report the incident, and the victim was transported to the hospital. The victim was approximately eight months pregnant at the time of the incident. The victim’s unborn child was not harmed. As a result of her injuries, the victim’s vision was affected for a period of time, and she continues to suffer from seizures and headaches.
In court, Sam’s former girlfriend testified that she showed Sam a news report about the crime. After viewing the report, Sam told her that he and another individual had shot a pregnant woman, but the intended target was the woman’s boyfriend. She said he bragged about the shooting and pretended to be holding a gun.
At the crime scene, Tulsa police officers collected 13 spent shell casings from the street and a projectile was recovered from the victim at the hospital. Investigators determined that a .40 caliber firearm and .45 caliber firearm had been used in the shooting.
In a download of Sam’s Facebook account, investigators discovered messages in which Sam offered to sell a Glock .40 caliber pistol on April 11, 2019, just three days after the shooting. Also, a download of the cell phone belonging to Sam’s girlfriend revealed text messages from April 11, 2019, in which Sam told the woman to hide his guns in a child’s backpack in their apartment after she texted him that someone was at the door and she was concerned it was law enforcement.
On Jan. 13, 2020, law enforcement recovered a Glock Model 21, .45 caliber pistol during a traffic stop in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Forensic analysis showed that the pistol matched the cartridge casings recovered during the investigation into the Tulsa shooting. The driver, who was suspected of a separate crime, possessed the firearm but was not involved in the Tulsa shooting.
During testimony in court, an ATF Task Force Officer explained that criminals often trade, sell or dispose of firearms after they are used in high profile crimes in an effort to distance themselves from the guns and to hinder investigations. It was believed that Sam tried to do the same thing with the Glock .40 caliber pistol via Facebook just three days after the Tulsa shooting. The officer further said that the .45 caliber firearm was likely traded or sold sometime after the Tulsa shooting as well, which would explain why it was later found in Muskogee.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation, titled Operation Squeezed Out. The investigation centered on a firearms trafficking ring operating in the Northern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree, of the District of Kansas, presided over the trial. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Nasar and Nathan E. Michel are prosecuting the case.