MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A 25-year-old Oklahoma man remained in custody Wednesday on first-degree murder complaints for the killings of his brother and five young children, police said.
Police in Muskogee said they don’t yet know why Jarron Deajon Pridgeon fatally shot Javarion Lee, 24, or the children, the oldest of whom was 9. The children’s mother, Brittany Anderson, was also wounded in the shootings early Tuesday and was hospitalized in Tulsa.
Police identified the slain children as Jalaiya Pridgeon, 1; Jaidus Pridgeon, 3; Harmony Anderson, 5; Neveah Pridgeon, 6; and Que’dynce Anderson, 9.
Jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on Pridgeon’s behalf.
Pridgeon and the victims lived in the home where the shootings occurred, Muskogee police said. Neighbors told the Muskogee Phoenix that they had only recently moved to the home but that the children were often outside playing.
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.
“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.”
The children’s school district posted about the shootings, saying grief counselors are being made available for students.
“We are saddened by this tragic loss and our deepest sympathies go out to all of those impacted,” Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, Superintendent of Muskogee Public Schools, said in the post. “No words can adequately express our sadness in losing these students and our thoughts and prayers are with this family.”
Muskogee is a city of just under 40,000 people about 45 miles (70 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa.
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