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An Oklahoma “monster” gunned down his brother and three of his own children in the shooting rampage that killed six people, police and relatives said.
Jarron Deajon Pridgeon, 25, lived at the Muskogee home with his brother, Javarion Lee, 24, and the five children between the ages of 1 and 9 who were killed in an early Tuesday morning massacre, police said.
The mother of the children, Brittany Anderson, was also shot, but was listed in stable condition at a Tulsa hospital, Tulsa World reported.
Police identified the young victims late Tuesday as Jalaiya Pridgeon, 1; Jaidus Pridgeon, 3; Harmony Anderson, 5; Neveah Pridgeon, 6; and 9-year-old Que’dynce Anderson.
Raven Anderson, an aunt of the slain children, said she’s struggling to understand what allegedly motivated Pridgeon.
“He is not a person, he is a monster,” Anderson told KOTV. “And on top of being a monster, he is a coward for doing what he did … I don’t know what kind of person would do that, let alone a person who could take the lives of their own kids.”
It’s unclear why Pridgeon allegedly opened fire. A message seeking additional comment from Muskogee police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin was not immediately returned early Wednesday.
Investigators work at the scene of the shooting in Muskogee, Oklahoma.Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP
Pridgeon was arrested after a foot chase at the home, where cops responded on a report of multiple people shot and encountered an armed suspect later identified as the Muskogee man.
Mayor Marlon Coleman issued a statement Tuesday saying the slayings left the city “paralyzed with grief.”
“Many of us went to bed resting in anticipation of tomorrow’s hopes, only to have awakened to know that five babies with unlimited potential are no longer with us; their lives taken prematurely, their families grappling with a new horror, and our community paralyzed with grief,” Coleman said.
Javarion Lee, 24, and five children between the ages of 1 and 9 were killed in the massacre.
An anonymous donor has offered to pay for the victims’ funerals, relatives told KOTV.
Pridgeon remained in custody Wednesday on complaints of first-degree murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the Muskogee Phoenix reported. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Neighbors, meanwhile, told the newspaper that the victims had moved into the home just weeks ago.