Behind Charred Walls: Eye-Witness Accounts Raise Questions in Drumright Murder-Suicide

Earlier this week breaking news reports speculated “suspicious deaths” as the result of a structure fire at a Drumright residence where two bodies were found. But after several days investigators believe the deceased were the result of a murder-suicide.

On Monday, April 24, at approximately 8:20 a.m., dispatchers received a 911 call for a structure fire at 219 South Tucker. At 8:25 when Drumright firemen arrived, the home was engulfed in flames and heavy with volatile black smoke. Upon entry a male subject was located, approximately six feet inside the structure.

Fireman initially began to drag the body but halted, “This was approximately 12 minutes after the call. I knew with that amount of time inside without a breathing apparatus, the individual had expired,” said Brett Lunsford, Chief of the Drumright Fire Department. “I then checked the victim for a pedal pulse but none was found.”

As firemen proceeded to extinguish the flames they found what they believed to be the origination of the fire, in a room near the kitchen. They also found a 2 gallon can of fuel in the corner of the residence and a revolver in the living room where they found the body of a male, later identified as Kenneth Ray Bray, 61. Bray reportedly lived at the residence.

After firemen learned there may be another person inside they began a secondary search. Authorities indicated that the body unearthed was burned so severely that it could only be identified via dental records. As of publishing time, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner had yet to release their findings.

Upon further examination of Bray, who was covered in soot but not burned, a single gunshot wound to the head was found, along with a .22 caliber pistol which was retrieved from the scene. The pistol was reportedly located several feet away from the initial resting spot of Bray. OSBI has yet to match fingerprints or confirm the gun owner.

Narratives provided to law enforcement allege that three gunshots were reportedly heard by the neighbors who live to the east of the Tucker street residence. One neighbor is said to have then phoned another neighbor to ask if they had heard the gunshots.

Neighbor no. 2 allegedly went to the residence and spoke with “Kenny”. During their conversation, Bray was reportedly pacing back and forth. Eye witness accounts also state a bottle of Champagne was said to be located on the porch. When the neighbor asked, “Hey you know your house is on fire?” Bray is said to have responded with expletives as he then walked back inside the residence. Neighbor No. 2 then called 911 and was on the line when they heard a single gunshot.

State Fire Marshal Donny Howard noted in his report that the fire originated in multiple locations on the rear deck as well as within the structure. “The majority of evidence gathered at this time would suggest two individuals died as a result of gunshot wounds, however, the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner’s office will make the determination as to the manner and causes of death.”

“I want it to be as thorough as possible for the families, that’s why I called the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said Drumright Assistant Chief of Police, Brian Gooch. According to DPD, Bray had no known priors. “We have never been called to that house.”

The case continues to be investigated as a murder/suicide. OSBI is not searching for any suspects at this time.