Five children and a man were killed and a woman was seriously injured after they were shot at a home in Muskogee, Okla., early Tuesday morning, the police said.
Officers arrested a man at the scene. The police said they believe that the victims were related and that the shootings were not random, but did not suggest a motive or identify the person taken into custody.
The police responded at 1:30 a.m. to a call about multiple people being shot at a house on Indiana Street in Muskogee, a city of about 40,000 people 50 miles southeast of Tulsa.
When they arrived, they found a man holding a firearm, Johnny Teehee, the chief of police, said in a statement.
An officer fired one shot with a rifle, missing the man as he ran from the scene. The police chased and apprehended him, Chief Teehee said, and took the man to the county jail.
When officers went inside the home, they found one man and four small children who were dead, Chief Teehee said. Another child was taken to a Tulsa hospital but died, and a woman was taken to a hospital with “life-threatening injuries,” the police said.
Investigators believe that the woman is the mother of at least some of the children and that the shooter had a family connection to the victims, Mayor Marlon J. Coleman said in an interview.
“We do believe that it’s a domestic event,” he said. Mr. Coleman said he anticipated that in the coming days the police would learn more about the connections between the victims and the shooter and “why he went down this terrible path.”
Mr. Coleman called the shootings “a tragedy of epic proportions.”
The ages and identities of the children and the man and woman were not immediately known Tuesday morning, said Officer Lynn Hamlin, a police spokeswoman.
“We’re very early in the investigation,” Officer Hamlin said, describing the scene as “terrible.”
“We’re not used to this at all,” she said. “We just don’t have details yet of the why or what happened other than we have five small children who are deceased and one male.”