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A man has been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of six people, including five small children, in Oklahoma earlier this week as new details emerge in the case, according to officials and reports.
Police have arrested Jarron Deajon Pridgeon, 25, on the charge of first-degree murder for allegedly gunning down the six victims, including children ages 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9, police said. The adult victim, 24-year-old Javarion Lee, is allegedly Pridgeon’s brother.
Raven Anderson, who is an aunt to the children, told Tulsa TV station KOTV that Pridgeon was the father of three of the slain children. Police Officer Lynn Hamlin said the suspect and victims all lived in the home.
“They were great kids, they were smart, full of happiness, energy. They were, they just loved life,” she said. “Honestly it would just be great if everyone just continued to pray.”
Investigators said they don’t yet know what set the suspect off.
“How do you describe it? It is tragic. They are babies. You can’t comprehend it. You can’t process it. You just can’t,” neighbor Susan Dvorak told local affiliate FOX25. The family had only lived in the home for approximately one month, she said.
Officers received a call at approximately 1:30 a.m. Tuesday to the Muskogee home on Indiana Street, where they arrived to find the suspect — later identified as Pridgeon — outside and carrying a gun, according to police and FOX23 in Tulsa.
At some point during the encounter, an officer shot his service rifle one time but missed the suspect, who fled from the area, the outlet reported.
Officers at the scene found the adult victim and four children dead inside. A fifth child was rushed to a Tulsa hospital, but could not be saved, police said.
According to FOX23, there were three other kids inside the home during the shooting who were not injured.
The children’s mother, Brittany Anderson, was also shot and wounded but was in stable condition Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Hamlin said Pridgeon was not cooperating with investigators. Jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on Pridgeon’s behalf.
Muskogee is a city of just under 40,000 people about 45 miles southeast of Tulsa.
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Two of the children who died were students at local Creek Elementary, Muskogee Public Schools confirmed on Facebook.
“We are saddened by this tragic loss and our deepest sympathies go out to all of those impacted,” said Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, Superintendent of Muskogee Public Schools. “No words can adequately express our sadness in losing these students and our thoughts and prayers are with this family.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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