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Update: Adults are suspects in six children's slayings at Broken Arrow home, police say after fire

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Two adults found dead are suspects in the deaths of six juvenile victims found inside the home.

Update (10 a.m. Friday): The two adults found dead in a Broken Arrow home Thursday are considered suspects in a homicide investigation, according to police.

"Preliminary details into this investigation have determined this incident is likely a murder-suicide," police said in a news release.

About 4:05 p.m. Thursday, neighbors reported a house fire in the 400 block of Hickory Avenue, northwest of Houston (81st) Street and Elm Place (161st East Avenue). 

Six juvenile victims ranged from age 1 to 13, police said. They were found in one room of the house where the fire was contained, but none of the victims are believed to have died due to the fire, according to authorities.

None of the individuals have been identified, though next of kin have been notified, the release states. Medical examiners will determine cause of death.

Investigators recovered firearms from inside the home.

When asked about any previous police response at the residence, BA Police Chief Brandon Berryhill said it had been "numerous years" since the last call, which he characterized as a "very innocuous" situation.

Authorities expect to continue the investigation "for some time," according to BA Fire Chief Jeremy Moore.

The owner of the home told Tulsa World that the family has been renting there eight years, with third-party payments made through a subsidy program.

“Understandably, this is a shock to Broken Arrow. It’s a safe city. Broken Arrow doesn’t have this kind of situation every day,” said BAPD spokesman Ethan Hutchins.

The home is southwest of Broken Arrow’s Rose District and about 15 miles southeast of downtown Tulsa.

“We’re asking the community to please pray and come together because this is something that we don’t experience as a city very often,” Hutchins said.

BAPD says anyone experiencing distress related to the investigation is encouraged to call Mental Health Association Oklahoma's hotline: 918-585-1213.


The story below published in Friday's Tulsa World:

BROKEN ARROW — Eight people were found dead following a house fire, leading to what police described as a homicide investigation Thursday night.

Late Thursday night, police said a family of eight, two adults and six children, lived at the house. Police didn't confirm if the victims included anyone from that family.

About 4:05 p.m. Thursday, neighbors reported a house fire in the 400 block of Hickory Avenue, northwest of Houston (81st) Street and Elm Place (161st East Avenue). The eight were found inside, police said.

“We do not currently believe there is an immediate threat to the public,” Broken Arrow police said in a social media post Thursday night.

“Understandably, this is a shock to Broken Arrow. It’s a safe city. Broken Arrow doesn’t have this kind of situation every day,” said BAPD spokesman Ethan Hutchins.

Authorities, he said, continue “to investigate the circumstances surrounding what happened here with this incident."

“It’s a complex scene with a lot of moving parts in the state of the house, given the fire damage, so this remains under investigation,” he said.

The home is southwest of Broken Arrow’s Rose District and about 15 miles southeast of downtown Tulsa.

Hutchins said federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene to investigate the fire, as well as Broken Arrow police and firefighters.

“And so, we’re asking the community to please pray and come together because this is something that we don’t experience as a city very often,” Hutchins said.


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