A woman and her three children were discovered dead in their home in Verdigris in an incident that unfolded during an hourslong standoff.
Law enforcement authorities suspect a murder-suicide. According to a press release from the OSBI, the three deceased children and their mother were Brandy McCaslin, 39, and her 10-month-old, 6-year-old, and 11-year-old. “It was determined that McCaslin shot all three kids and then turned the weapon on herself."
The Associated Press reports the chain of events began Thursday when a police officer noticed fireworks emanating from the garage of a residence in Verdigris, a suburb east of Tulsa. Hunter McKee, spokesperson for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, told The Associated Press the officer sensed something was amiss and called for backup.
Upon closer inspection, the officer discovered a woman and two children locked inside the garage, along with what Police Chief Jack Shackleford described as a Roman candle firework. The woman revealed she had taken another child to the home for a supervised visit, only to be confronted by an armed woman who seized the child and confined the woman and the two accompanying children in the garage.
Multiple agencies, including a SWAT team from the Cherokee Nation, swiftly encircled the residence. Following a three-hour standoff with no response from inside the house, officers entered the home and found the adult woman and three children dead with gunshot wounds, the AP reports.
The children are believed to range in age from several months to around 11 years old. The nature of the relationship between the two women involved in the incident remains unknown at this time.
A handgun was found at the scene, and the deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide, authorities said.
According to KOKI-TV, Shackleford said officers had responded to the residence multiple times in the past for domestic and mental health-related calls.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Mother, 3 children dead after standoff in Verdigris, Oklahoma