MIAMI, Okla. — An 11-year-old girl is dead, two adults wounded and the alleged shooter dead in an apparent murder-suicide shooting Tuesday in Miami.
Miami Police Chief Thomas Anderson said David Billings, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The 11-year-old who was found dead at the scene has been identified as Kayla Billings, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Billings’ ex-wife, Melissa Wallace, 38, and James Miller, also 38, were found shot at the residence at 217 I St NW in Miami. The child is the daughter of Wallace and Billings.
Wallace also was pregnant, OSBI said.
The incident took place shortly before 8:30 p.m., when Miami officers were called to James Miller’s home. Miller called 911 to report Billings was at the residence shooting people.
Upon arrival, Anderson said officers found Wallace shot outside the home. When officers made entry into the residence, they discovered Billings and the child dead, and Miller shot.
Anderson said Billings used a 9 mm handgun. Miller was reportedly shot once and Wallace three times. Billings died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, he said. No other details were released on Wednesday morning.
Wallace and Miller were flown by air ambulance to a Tulsa hospital. Anderson said they are reportedly in stable condition. No other children were in the home at the time of the shooting.
Anderson said Billings and Wallace had ongoing domestic disputes. Officers were notified of a heated argument at the residence that took place earlier Tuesday.
“They were reportedly screaming at each other,” Anderson said. “Then (Billings) left.”
Anderson said Wallace had talked to people about getting a protective order against Billings, but as of Tuesday evening there was not an active order in place. Billings did not have a prior criminal history.
Members of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation assisted the Miami Police Department in processing the scene.
Anderson said detectives continue to delve into the situation, which remains an open investigation.
Anderson said members of the Miami Police Department have reached out to school officials to offer assistance in handling the death of the child, a student in the Miami Public School system.
“We reached out the superintendent last night to give a heads-up on the situation, and we followed up with him (on Wednesday),” Anderson said. “Anytime you have a situation like this, it’s hard on children. Losing a classmate is very traumatic.”
Anderson said the department has a chaplain corps available to work with school officials and students as needed.
Superintendent Jeremy Hogan confirmed that the girl was a fifth-grader at Nichols Upper Elementary School. He said a group of school officials, administrators and board members, along with police chaplains, school resource officers and a youth minister from the community, met with Nichols teachers and administrators Wednesday morning.
“This is never easy," he said. "I was honest with them and told them what we knew about what happened and confirmed who was involved. We were there to hug them, and to pray with them. Then we sat down and made plans.”
Hogan said district officials plan to have counselors, area pastors and youth pastors, police chaplains and staff and administrators from other areas of the district present at the school Monday to help students, faculty and staff process the news.
“I’m not naive, I know most will have heard something about it by Monday to some degree,” Hogan said. “But others may walk in not knowing anything. We want to have professionals in place to talk with the kids and provide them with resources.”
Hogan said the fifth-grade class is divided into smaller groups. Four groups make up a single pod. Parents of students in the girl’s immediate group, as well as those in her pod, were contacted on Wednesday morning by Principal Courtney Billings and Assistant Principal Pam Chaney.
“We thought it was important to talk with the parents of children in her class, especially those who were extremely close to (her),” Hogan said. “We reached out to any student we knew hung out with her, or was close with her.”
Hogan said that within the pod structure, students rotate together for two years. He said his wife, who is a member of the Nichols school family, described the girl as “sweet and precious.”
“They form strong relationships, not just with other students, but with teachers,” Hogan said. “Quite a few of our teachers are hurting pretty bad. We are there to support them.”
School officials recommend parents talk about the situation by simply being honest with their children, he said. Listening to their students, as best they can, is also a good practice, he said.
While the district is on fall break, school officials will be available by email. Parents are encouraged to call or come to the school on Monday if additional services are needed, he said.
This story has been updated to correct the gender of the child.