The Muskogee Police Department has released the name of the suspect in a shooting spree early Tuesday morning that claimed the lives of six people, five of them children, and left a woman in critical condition.
Muskogee PD Public Information Officer Lynn Hamlin said Jarron Deajon Pridgeon, 25, was taken into custody following a brief foot pursuit. The suspect, who was wielding a gun at the time of his arrest, is not cooperating with law enforcement officials at this time, Hamlin said.
Online court records show that Pridgeon had one arrest in 2017, for larceny of an automobile. In February 2019, he was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, threatening to perform acts of violence, and misdemeanor malicious injury to private property. In June 2019, he was charged with obstruction, resisting an officer, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Those were filed as misdemeanors.
During a press conference just after noon, Hamlin said investigators aren't certain about the relationship between the suspect and his victims, but said the shooting wasn't random. She said the survivor is conscious and is stable, but her condition was not released. Hamlin wasn't able to give the ages of the children.
Officers were dispatched to 903 Indiana St., on a call of shots fired at 1:30 a.m. Pridgeon had initially fled after an officer fired a shot. Four children and a man were found dead inside the home, and another child died at a Tulsa hospital.
Neighbors said they didn't know those who lived in the house.
Neaoma Nitter, who lives across the street, said she heard shots around 1:30 a.m. She said she didn’t know much about the family because they were "fairly new" in the neighborhood, having moved in two or three weeks ago. Nitter said she never saw anything unusual, or noticed any traffic moving in or out of the house.
Damon Smith, who lives a few houses down, said he walked his dog, Katy Bell, past the residence.
“The kids, they were always waving at me,” Smith said, adding there were usually about three. “But they were always waving at us as we walked by, so happy and proud. It's a big shock."
Smith said he and Pamela Roughface had brought flowers to put on the property after they learned of the shooting spree.
Hamlin said Muskogee officers are experiencing "shock, disbelief, sadness."
"It's never easy to talk about these stories. We're concerned about our officers. It affects our whole community," she said.
Muskogee Public Schools confirmed two of the children were students at Creek Elementary. School administrators said they are providing grief counseling through the remainder of the week, and asked children affected by the shooting to seek those services.