Local police authorities Thursday said at least four people, including three children, were killed in a reported hostage situation in the small town of Verdigris, a suburb east of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Police Chief Jack Shackleford said: “The standoff began in the small town of Verdigris, a suburb east of Tulsa after a woman told a patrolling police officer at around 4 pm that another woman with a gun held her hostage in a garage.”
The chief said that “the woman also stated there were children in the home and the officer called for reinforcements.”
Officials responded to the scene with law enforcement personnel surrounding the house, including a SWAT team.
They entered the house and found the bodies of the woman and three children, with estimated ages from several months to around 11 years old.
Authorities also recovered a handgun from the scene which is under investigation as a murder-suicide.
According to KOKI-TV reports, Chief Shackleford also added: “Officers went to the home several times in the past on domestic and mental health calls.”
Officials have bit yet released the identities of the victims.
The Violence Policy Centre while in an estimate suggested that there are 11 murder-suicides each week in the US, with research revealing that more than 1,200 citizens die in murder-suicides annually.
Their research unraveled that nine out of 10 murder-suicides involve a gun and in nearly two-thirds of all murder-suicides, an intimate partner of the shooter is among the victims.
An estimate suggested that in the years 2020 and 2021, gun violence caused the deaths of more children from ages 1 to 17.