VERDIGRIS, Okla. — A woman and her three children were found dead in an Oklahoma home Thursday evening in what may be a murder-suicide following an hourslong standoff, authorities said.
The names of the victims weren’t immediately released.
The standoff began in the small town of Verdigris, a suburb east of Tulsa, when a police officer driving along the street saw fireworks coming from inside the garage of a house, according to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Hunter McKee.
“It was at that time that officer knew that there was something wrong, went to investigate, called for backup,” McKee said.
The officer saw what Police Chief Jack Shackleford described as a Roman candle firework and found a woman and two children locked in a garage.
The woman said she had taken another child to the home for a supervised visit and was met by an armed woman who took the child and locked the woman and two other children who were with her in the garage, Shackleford said.
Several agencies surrounded the house, including a SWAT team from the Cherokee Nation.
Following a three-hour standoff with no response from inside the house, McKee said officers entered the home and found the adult woman and three children dead with gunshot wounds.
The three children are believed to range in age from several months to around 11 years old.
A handgun was found at the scene and the killings are being investigated as a murder-suicide, authorities said.
Shackleford said officers went to the home several times in the past on domestic and mental health calls, KOKI-TV reported. It was not immediately known how the two women knew each other.