BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (KFOR) – Many Broken Arrow first responders are now receiving mental health resources after the tragic murder suicide which left six children and two parents dead Thursday afternoon.  

It was a tragedy to everyone in the community and especially the first responders who were on scene that day. They were there for several hours to evaluate what happened.  

Initially first responders were responding to a house fire. But when they arrived, it appeared that it was worse than imagined

“To see the looks on our first responders, my firefighters faces, just absolutely broke my heart,” said Jeremy Moore, the Broken Arrow Fire Chief.  

Those first responders found six children, from ages one to 13, dead along with two adults.  

Law enforcement said it appears that none of the victims died from the fire, but call it a tragic scene.  

“There are so many officers out here that are working tirelessly to try and find out exactly what transpired here. It’s a tragic scene when you’ve got a family of eight that lived here,” said Ethan Hutchins, public information officer at Broken Arrow Police Department.  

First responders were on scene for more than 12 hours gathering information to help understand what happened.  

“Our hearts go out to the Broken Arrow community because this is a very safe city and homicides don’t happen here normally. This is the first homicide incident in Broken Arrow this year,” said Hutchins.  

Jeremy Moore, the Broken Arrow Fire Chief, said police and fire are receiving mental health assistance and they have been actively addressing the mental wellness of the first responders.  

“We’ve been very, very proactive in setting up peer support teams… We know these can have traumatic effects on individuals throughout their life and it can be a cumulative effect,” said Chief Moore. 

Chief Moore said the fire and police department have both retained outside counseling services from a local counseling agency to offer to the first responders as well as their families. 

“No one should have to face this kind of tragedy. And our firefighters do face this from time to time. And so we have definitely learned some strong lessons in this community about facing tragedies such as this,” said Chief Moore.  

The CDC reports, “First responders may be at elevated risk for suicide because of the environments in which they work, their culture, and stress, both occupational and personal.” 

A 2021 report from the CDC goes on to say, “Law enforcement officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty… and even given the high number of suicides, these deaths among first responders are likely underreported.” 

“This is a once in a lifetime tragedy and we are very proactive, the police chief and I are making sure that our personnel are being well taken care of,” said Chief Moore.  

There’s also support for you if you need it.  

Investigators say the Oklahoma Mental Health Association is an available resource for everyone processing this tragedy. The organization’s phone number is (918)-585-1213.