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One Man And Five Children Murdered In Predawn Attack

Muskogee, OK – A gunman murdered a man and five children during a predawn attack on Tuesday, according to police.

Muskogee Police Department (MPD) officers responded to a residence on Indiana Street at approximately 1:30 a.m., after someone called 911 to report that multiple people had been shot, MPD spokesperson Officer Lynn Hamlin said during a press conference later that morning.

Police arrived at the scene and allegedly spotted the suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Jarron Pridgeon, leaving the home “with the gun in his hand,” Officer Hamlin said.

One officer fired at Pridgeon, but did not hit him.

The alleged shooter fled the scene on foot and was apprehended by officers following a “short foot chase,” according to Officer Hamlin.

Investigators entered the home and found four small children and an adult male dead inside, KTUL reported.

“Everyone was shot,” Officer Hamlin told reporters.

Another child was life-flighted to a hospital in Tulsa, but later succumbed to gunshot wounds.

A woman inside the home suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack and was also life-flighted to a hospital in Tulsa, Officer Hamlin said.

She remained in critical-but-stable condition on Tuesday afternoon, the Tahlequah Daily Press reported.

The MPD described the mass shooting as a “domestic incident,” but did not specify how Pridgeon and the victims are related, according to KJRH.

“We don’t believe that its random, but we just don’t have details yet of the why or what happened other than we have five small children that are deceased and one adult male,” Officer Hamlin told reporters.

Police said Pridgeon was “choosing not to cooperate with investigators” in the wake of the attack, KJRH reported.

According to the Tahlequah Daily Press, the alleged gunman has been charged with multiple offenses in the past, including larceny of an automobile, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, malicious injury to private property, obstructing, threatening to perform acts of violence, resisting an officer, and possession of a controlled substance.

The MPD’s investigation into the fatal shooting remains ongoing.

Two of the children who were killed in the attack attended Creek Elementary, Muskogee Public Schools Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall said in a statement on Tuesday, according to KTUL.

“We are saddened by this tragic loss and our deepest sympathies go out to all of those impacted,” Mendenhall told the news outlet. “No words can adequately express our sadness in losing these students and our thoughts and prayers are with this family.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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