Family Of Fatally Shot Drumright Grandfather Seeks Answers

Saturday, August 18th 2012, 7:45 pm
By: Tess Maune

The family of a man killed in his sleep wants answers.

It's been more than a week since a Drumright grandfather was shot to death in his own home.

Roy Varnell's wife, Janie, had left for work, and his two grandchildren said they were taking naps when the fatal shots rang out, which leaves investigators with very few leads.

Flipping through an old photo album, Darrin Varnell, a deputy with the Pawnee County Sheriff's Office, is overcome with emotion, as memories of his dad come rushing back.

"I think that the thing that stands out most, when I was younger, as he would leave for work, just the goodbyes, the hugs," Darrin said. "And now looking back, know that that's gone forever."

Darrin and his dad were in constant communication, talking on the phone as many as seven times a day.

"With dad, it didn't matter what time of day it was," he said. "If he was awake, you should be awake and he'd call see what you [were] doing."

The last time Darrin talked to his dad was on Tuesday, August 7 -- the day before he was shot and killed, while taking a nap in his recliner.

"I just, No. 1, I wonder what happened and hoping… he didn't see it coming and didn't suffer," Darrin said.

Creek County detectives say the homicide may have been a break-in gone bad. There were only two others in the home when Roy was killed.

His 12-year-old grandson, who was being raised by his grandparents, and his 8-year-old granddaughter.

"My nephew was asleep on the couch, completely covered from head-to-toe, he hears a loud pop, wakes up and hears the back door shut," Darrin said. "And that was the extent of what I got told."

As of now, authorities don't have a suspect, but they are waiting to question a person of interest – an unnamed juvenile who requested a court-appointed attorney.

Darrin admits that may look suspicious, but he and his mother, Janie, truly don't believe anyone in the house could have pulled the trigger.

"[Janie] is very adamant that it's not a possibility," Darrin said. "She doesn't believe there's any chance [her grandson] could do it. As far as she knows, he didn't even know how to load the gun."

Darrin said there were six guns in the home and all were locked up, except a 22 single-shot rifle, which wasn't loaded.

Investigators say it's possible that a weapon from inside that house was used, but they can't say for sure yet.