A 28-year-old Oklahoma father allegedly executed his estranged wife and their three children — ages 9, 5 and 2 — before taking his own life in a shocking mur*der-sui*cide that police labeled a “massacre.”
Police were called to an address in Oklahoma City around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after a man returned home to find five members of his family, including his daughter and grandchildren, all suffering from gunshot wounds to the head.
Three of the victims died on the spot. The gunman, identified by the cops as Reuben Armendariz, and one of his children were rushed to a hospital, where they later died, the Oklahoma City Police Department said in a press release.
The victims were identified as Cassandra Flores, 29, and her and Armendariz’s kids: 9-year-old Hillary, 5-year-old Damaris and 2-year-old Matias.
“The investigation is in its very early stages, and detectives are currently trying to piece together the chain of events that led to the massacre,” police said.
Armendariz and Flores, who have been together from the time she was 17, were married but separated, according to investigators and the couple’s loved ones.
A relative told Oklahoma outlet News 9 that Flores and her children lived with her father, and it was he who made the horrifying discovery Wednesday and called 911.
Authorities said Armendariz gunned down his wife and their children inside the home, and then turned the gun on himself in the front yard.
“It’s just not real,” said Jennifer Johnson, a family friend. “I never expected that of Reuben at all. Like he was so quiet.”
Police have not disclosed a possible motive, but Johnson said Armendariz was “really depressed” and fixated on Flores.
“She said that he was bothering her a lot and was more worried about her than the kids,” Johnson said.
Sgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City PD, told the Associated Press that detectives were still trying to figure out what led up to the tragedy.
Sometimes we just never know,” he said. “Nobody seems to have seen it coming. If they did, no one alerted us.”
Police have never been called to a domestic disturbance at the home where the mu*rder-s*uicide occurred, and Armendariz’s sole run-in with the law involved a traffic violation in 2020.