6 children, 2 adults found dead in Broken Arrow house


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Broken Arrow is in shock and mourning after 6 children and 2 adults were found dead inside of a burning house Thursday afternoon.

Investigators are still putting the pieces together and were not commenting on the exact manner of death, and the names of the victims were not released as the probe was still ongoing. Broken Arrow Police Department PIO Ethan Hutchins said the 8 victims all appeared to be one family.

Because of the number of victims and the fire that damaged the home, the investigation is complicated and “has a lot of moving parts,” Hutchins said. The ATF and State Fire Marshal’s Office are assisting BAPD with the probe.

A fire call came in around 4 p.m. Thursday in the 400 block of S. Hickory Ave. A neighborhood resident said another neighbor told him about gunshots that rang out around 3 p.m. Thursday in that area.

Firefighters entered the house – which was heavily damaged by the fire but not destroyed – and found the bodies of the adults and children. BAPD detectives quickly classified the incident as a homicide.

Police reiterated that they didn’t believe there was any threat to the public at this time. A joint press conference with the Broken Arrow police and fire departments is slated for Friday morning to update the public on the case.

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In spite of being the fourth largest city in the state with a population of about 115,000, Broken Arrow hadn’t logged any homicides in 2022. Residents haven’t seen this violent of a crime in their city since the Bever family murders that occurred in 2015, where 5 people were murdered.

Residents were shocked and saddened about the victims and seemed at a loss of words at times to comprehend what occurred. Many from Broken Arrow took to social media to offer up prayers for the victim’s families, and for the first responders at the scene.

Broken Arrow leaders tried to provide some reassurance Thursday night.

“Today we had a horrific and tragic event, which is still under investigation. On behalf of myself and the City Council, our thoughts and prayers are with remaining family members affected by this great loss,” said Broken Arrow Mayor Debra Wimpee.

“I also want to give my deepest thanks to the heroic efforts of the police and fire departments who rushed to the scene to help on the scene.”

“Broken Arrow stands together,” added Broken Arrow Police Chief Brandon Berryhill. “We will mourn together, and in the end we will heal together. Please pray for those who have lost their lives, and for our first responders who are dealing with a tragedy of this magnitude.”

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