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Arkoma man arrested for the murder of his father

Joel Gage is in custody and was treated in an ambulance on-site. He was taken to the LeFlore County Jail and booked on a first-degree murder charge.

ARKOMA, Okla. — An arrest has been made and an investigation is underway after a possible homicide suspect barricaded themself inside a home late Sunday, Feb. 6, night.

According to a police report, a witness entered the home and found his family member, later identified as Jackie Gage, dead with several head wounds. The witness found Jackie's son, 35-year-old Joel Gage, on the porch of the home and allegedly asked him if he realized "he just killed his dad."

The report states that Joel allegedly replied, "He said he killed Tony and he was going to kill me."

The witness told police that Joel was "rambling" and repeatedly saying "what" in a manner that was out of context. 

According to the report, Joel's mother allegedly received a FaceTime call from her son and heard Jackie in the background saying, "no, Joe, what are you doing?" in a way that sounded like he was "pleading for his life." After that, the phone hung up and his mother was unable to reach him again. 

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the home, including the LeFlore County Sheriff's Department, Arkoma Police, Pocola Police, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Deputies surrounded the home, eventually getting Joel, to come out. According to deputies, they used gas canisters to get the suspect to come out.

Authorities say Joel is in custody and was treated in an ambulance on-site. He was then taken to the LeFlore County Jail and booked on one count of first degree murder. Bond has been denied at this time. 

The scene was active until nearly 2 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7. 

5NEWS spoke with a friend of Jackie Gage since grade school, Kathleen Branscum, who says she is devastated. She planned to meet him Sunday night but never did.

Branscum sent a text asking Jackie to be safe after seeing police surround his home.

“In my text, I said ‘hey, give me a text back. I’m really worried about you, I’ll see you tonight.’ And I did not know he was already gone,” she said.

Recalling when she found out the news she said, “It just broke my heart into pieces, I’m devastated, I’m very hurt.”

She describes Sunday night as terrifying and devastating to the community.

“Well, it was actually just sheer terror,” Branscum said.

Branscum says friends and family will remember Jackie Gage as a friend, a Christian, a father and a gentle giant.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful person,” Branscum said. “And I just hope he’s finally at peace some comfort."

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating this case.

5NEWS also reached out to Arkoma Police, who declined to speak with us.

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