MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 27, 2013

State takes custody of 6 kids after Tulsa slayings


— TULSA (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has removed six children from a Tulsa home they had been staying at after four people were shot at their grandparents’ home over the weekend.

The children, who ranged in age from 2 months to 8 years old, had been staying with their grandparents, where a shooting Saturday killed four people and seriously wounded a fifth.

The children’s mother then took custody of the kids and placed them at a neighbor’s home nearby, but the home didn’t have gas or running water and little food was available, the Tulsa World reported Wednesday.

DHS got involved Tuesday. Spokeswoman Sheree Powell said agency officials were not involved with placing the children at the neighbor’s home. She also said she could not discuss additional details about the case.

The neighbor, Christinea McMinn, said that just because someone isn’t blood doesn’t mean they aren’t family.

“You don’t turn people away. Home is where your heart is,” said McMinn, who is struggling financially and receives Social Security disability.

McMinn’s son, Jordan Ruffing, said he and his mother wanted to help the kids.

“They made us into monsters, and we were just trying to do the right thing,” he said.

Killed in the shooting Saturday were Charlie Dake Jr., 34; Melissa Dake, 35; Glenda Harper, 54; and Tammy Brunson, 46. A fifth person, a man, was wounded and remains in serious condition. His name has not been released.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker has said all five individuals were inside a garage that had been converted into a bedroom when the shooter entered from an outside door Saturday night.