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OKLAHOMA CITY- One man is dead after an altercation at a Braums in northwest Oklahoma City.

Pam Pollard with the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women has confirmed with NewsChannel 4 that the victim was Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.

Mark Costello
Mark Costello

Police say it all began as an argument this morning. The victim and suspect said they would meet at the Braums at Hefner and May, this evening to work things out. The two met at the restaurant this evening where another argument began.

Authorities say the suspect stabbed the victim multiple times inside Braums. That is when the victim walked outside and the suspect followed. Once outside, the suspect continued stabbing the Labor Commissioner several times.

Mug shot of Christian Costello from 2014 arrest
Mug shot of Christian Costello from 2014 arrest

Police say a witness was able to ram the suspect with his vehicle and other witnesses were able to hold the suspect down until the police arrived. The suspect has been arrested.

Officials say the suspect is the Labor Commissioner’s son, Christian Costello, 26.

He was arrested for First Degree Murder.


The Costello family released the following statement:

There are no words to express the shock and sadness that our family has experienced the last number of hours. The outpouring of emotion and support our family feels is tremendous.

Our son, Christian Costello, has experienced many difficulties over the past several years. Christian, like thousands of Oklahomans, struggles with a mental health disease and like many families we did our best to support him. Mark was committed to being there for his son and provided whatever help he could as a father. 

We ask for your prayers and support as our family tries to cope with and understand this life-changing tragedy.

Mark loved to brag about his kids and their successes, but like many in the public eye, he also viewed his family life as personal. We ask that you respect our family’s privacy as we work through this very difficult time and please understand that our family will struggle with this for years to come as we try and find answers.

Governor Mary Fallin has said that flags on state property will be lowered to half-staff through Friday to honor Mark Costello’s life and service to the people of Oklahoma.

The governor released the following statement after hearing about Costello’s death.

“I was shocked and greatly saddened to hear of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello’s tragic death last night. My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and staff. Oklahoma has lost a dedicated public servant and a good man.

“In honor of Mark’s life and his service to the state, all flags on state property will be flown at half-staff through the end of the week.”

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement tonight on the death of Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello:

“My family is stunned and deeply grieved to hear of the tragic death of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. Mark was passionate about our nation, conservative fiscal principles, and the people of our state. Mark was a friend, and as we grieve, we will also pray for his family as they deal with this unbelievable tragedy.”

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak released the following statement about the passing of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Mark Costello. He was a wonderful leader and public servant. This is a major loss to the state of Oklahoma and everyone who loved Mark. My thoughts and prayers go out to his beloved wife Cathy and their family.”

The Oklahoma Department of Labor Chief of Staff Jim Marshall released the following statement regarding the Labor Commissioner’s death.

“Mark Costello was a tremendous leader, colleague and most importantly friend to all of those at the Oklahoma Department of Labor. Our hearts ache as an agency for this tragic event and our department grieves for his family during this very difficult time. We ask for your prayers and respect for the family of Commissioner Costello.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman also released a statement on Costello’s tragic death.

“I am shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Commissioner Costello. Oklahoma has lost a leader who had a unique passion for politics and took great pride in the work he did on behalf of all Oklahomans. He was a model public servant, and we are all better for the example and legacy he leaves behind. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of mourning.”


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