6 children who perished in Broken Arrow fire were shot to death

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By John Dobberstein, Editor

Six children discovered dead last October in a Broken Arrow house fire were all shot to death and are classified as homicide victims, according to the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

OOCME summary reports, released to the Broken Arrow Sentinel through an official request several months ago, ruled the “probable cause of death” for the children’s parents – 34-year-old Brian Nelson and Brittney Nichole Nelson, 32 – was a gunshot wound to the head. But medical examiners said their official manner of death was “unknown.”

For the six children, all their deaths were ruled a homicide.

Ragnar Lothbrok Nelson, 5, died of a gunshot wound to the head. While there was evidence of thermal injuries, the medical examiner’s summary report found no evidence of smoke inhalation.

Thirteen-year-old Brian A. Nelson II died of multiple gunshot wounds, with the report noting he was shot at least 6 times. He suffered thermal injuries over about 90% of his body.

Kurgan Nelson, 2, died of a gunshot wound to the head and suffered thermal injuries to 84% of his body. Britannica C. Nelson, 19 months, suffered at least 5 gunshot wounds and had thermal injuries over 90% of her body.

Vegeta Nelson, 7, died of multiple gunshot wounds and was shot at least 4 times, and suffered thermal injuries over 93% of his body. And Brantley Nichole Nelson, 9, also died of multiple gunshot wounds and was shot at least 4 times, and she had thermal injuries to about 54% of her body.

The Medical Examiner’s Office said toxicological tests results for the children were negative.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Oct. 27, Broken Arrow police and firefighters responded to reports of a house fire at 425 S. Hickory.


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Broken Arrow police said all the children were found in a small bedroom at the back of the burning home. Early in the investigation, police identified the parents as the “suspects” in the killings.

Broken Arrow police said in a statement that investigators have reviewed medical examiner’s reports about the incident.

“We have no additional information to provide the public at this time regarding this incident,” the department said. 

Media reports last year said Brittney and Brian were not employed and living mostly on public benefits, feeling the pressure of medical and financial problems at the time. A chapter 7 bankruptcy filing from 2020 showed they had more than $137,000 in debt, most of it in student loans.

They were not paying rent, taking assistance from the Oklahoma Housing Authority. The Associated Press reported that Brian Nelson experienced recurring pain after suffering a concussion while stocking dairy refrigerators at a large retail chain.



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