Couple, 6 Kids Found in Burning Home Had Been Shot

Police say Oklahoma tragedy was an octuple murder-suicide
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 28, 2022 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 25, 2023 4:39 PM CDT
8 Found Dead in Burning Tulsa-Area Home
Broken Arrow, Okla., police and fire department investigate the scene of a fire with multiple fatalities at the corner South Hickory Ave. and West Galveston St. on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.   (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)
UPDATE Apr 25, 2023 4:39 PM CDT

Preliminary autopsy reports show eight members of an Oklahoma family found dead inside their burning home were each shot. The bodies of Brian Nelson, 34, his wife Brittney Nelson, 32, and their six children were found in October inside the flaming home in Broken Arrow, a Tulsa suburb. Authorities say all six children—Brian II, 13; Brantley, 9; Vegeta, 7; Ragnar, 5; Kurgan, 2; and Britannica, 1—were found in a burning bedroom, while their parents were found in the front of the home, the AP reports. The autopsy report says Brian and Brittney Nelson each suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Police said Tuesday they had no further information for the public on what they called an octuple murder-suicide. Family members have said the couple was experiencing financial difficulties.

Oct 28, 2022 3:00 AM CDT

Eight people were found dead Thursday in a burning Tulsa-area house in what was being investigated as multiple homicides, police said. The fire was reported about 4pm Thursday in a quiet residential area of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, 13 miles southeast of Tulsa, the AP reports. Broken Arrow police said that although the fire and the deaths were being investigated as homicides, they did not believe an immediate threat to the public existed. Police spokesman Ethan Hutchins said the scene was complex "with a lot of moving parts," so no other information was being released immediately. Witnesses told police that a family of eight had lived in the house, two adults and six children, but the bodies have not been positively identified, Hutchins said.

“Understandably, this is a shock to Broken Arrow. It's a safe city. Broken Arrow doesn't have this kind of situation every day,” Hutchins said. Broken Arrow is Tulsa’s biggest suburb, with almost 115,000 residents. The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was assisting in the investigation. Catelin Powers said she was driving with her children nearby when she saw a column of smoke near her house, so she drove past to investigate. “When I got closer to the house, I saw smoke pouring out from the very top of the house, which looked like maybe the attic,” she told the AP. Two men and a woman on her phone were standing in front of the house, Powers said, when another man emerged from the front door dragging an apparently unconscious, unresponsive woman. “Her arms were flopped to her sides,” she said.

(More Oklahoma stories.)

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