“Inside and out, she was just such a beautiful, beautiful soul,” Family mourns teenager shot, killed

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MCLOUD, Okla. -- An Oklahoma family is mourning after a 16-year-old was shot and killed at a home on Friday evening.

Speaking to News 4 over the phone on Sunday evening, Cynthia Thomas said her daughter Kaylen was at a friend's house during the incident. Thomas rushed to the home when she got a phone call that her daughter had been hurt.

"I couldn’t even see her come out. They didn’t want to see, and that’s when I knew how bad it was because they didn’t want me to see her when she came out," Thomas told us.

Chief Tom Pringle with the McLoud Police Department confirmed Sunday afternoon that two teenagers were taken in custody for manslaughter in connection.

Since the incident, Thomas said there has been an outpouring of support from the McLoud community.

"You can’t go anywhere here without knowing someone who knows her [Kaylen] or has a family member that knows her or has a family member that knows her and loves her. It’s impossible," she said.

Kaylen's mother described her youngest daughter as a high school sophomore who was not only a devoted and hardworking student, but also an athlete with a love for basketball and track among other sports. She had dreams of attending college either at Oklahoma State University or Oklahoma Baptist University.

"Inside and out. She was just such a beautiful, beautiful soul. She loved everybody," Thomas said.

Thomas also told News 4, Kaylen was very close with her siblings.

Her oldest sister Samantha told us in statement: "To know love, thoughtfulness, and genuine good, was to know my sister Kaylen. She brightened up every room she walked into. Kaylen loved to make everyone laugh and she genuinely loved and cared for everyone around her. We became less the day Kaylen was taken from us. Less because of the profound and heartbreaking physical loss. Less because the world will never benefit from her, now unrealized, potential. Less because her smile, that could lessen a bad moment, is gone. To know my sister is to truly know you were loved. I am less because Kaylen is gone. "

Kaylen's older sister Ashlee described her as the "light of our family".

"She was such a beautiful, smart, funny, caring, and loving girl. The best sister anyone could ask for. We are lost without Kaylen and a piece of all of us was taken with her when she was taken from us. There are no words to describe how incredibly broken I feel. 16 years wasn't enough time with her. I didn't leave Kaylen's side at the hospital until I was forced to and they took her away from me," Ashlee said in statement. "Kaylen was my first best friend on this earth and I cant imagine how I could ever heal from this. I will now never be able to see her grow into the amazing woman I always knew she would be. Kaylen will now never graduate high school, get her license, get married, have children, I could go on and on. My family and I are completely broken by this tragedy."

Thomas said the community is currently helping the family set up a GoFundMe account for Kaylen's funeral costs.


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