Five children and a man, all related, were killed in an early morning shooting Tuesday that ended with a relative in custody, authorities in eastern Oklahoma said.
Police responded to a 1:30 a.m. call of multiple people shot at a residence in southeast Muskogee, and when officers arrived, a suspect emerged brandishing a weapon, officials said.
An officer fired one round and missed the suspect, who was later caught after a short foot chase and identified as 25-year-old Jarron Deajon Pridgeon. Muskogee police Chief Johnny Teehee told NBC News that the suspect is a member of the victims' family, later identified as Pridgeon's brother.
Officers entered the house on Indiana Street near Augusta Avenue and discovered four dead children and one slain man, Tulsa police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin said. Another child later died in the hospital.
The victims were identified by police as Jalaiya Pridgeon, 1-year-old; Jaidus Pridgeon, 3-years-old; Harmony Anderson 5-years-old; Neveah Pridgeon, 6-years-old; Que’dynce Anderson, 9-years-old; and the suspect's brother, Javarion Lee, 24-years-old.
The mother to the children, Brittany Anderson, is currently in a Tulsa hospital in stable condition, Muskogee police said. Three other children who were in the house were not harmed.
There are no other suspects, according to police.
“We don’t believe that it’s 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 an adult male (victim),” Hamlin told reporters.
Muskogee is roughly 50 miles southeast of Tulsa.
"Today tragedy struck our community the likes of which we have not seen in decades," Mayor Marlon Coleman said in a statement. "Many of us went to bed resting in anticipation of tomorrow's hopes, only to have awakened to know that five babies with unlimited potential are no longer with us."
Coleman said the shooting has left "our community paralyzed with grief" and that even "though the suspect is in custody, no court of law or sentencing phase can restore this loss of life."
At least two of the slain were students at Creek Elementary School, officials said.
“We are saddened by this tragic loss and our deepest sympathies go out to all of those impacted,” Muskogee Public Schools Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall said in a statement.
“No words can adequately express our sadness in losing these students and our thoughts and prayers are with this family.”