An entire town mourns as police investigate the death of a McLoud, Oklahoma honor student, who was shot in the head at a gathering of teenagers. Two teens have been taken into police custody in connection to the killing.
Kaylen Thomas, 16, was shot in the head at a home in McLoud on October 5 and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after, according to KFOR, an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based news organization.
McLoud Police Chief Tom Pringle said a gun was found at the scene. He added that the eyewitnesses to the event were all juveniles.
A 15-year-old female and a teenage male were apprehended by police on October 7. Their names have not been released to the public.
A football game that was to be held on October 5 was rescheduled for the following day. Thomas was remembered at the sporting event, according to News OK, another Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based news organization. Streamers and balloons in her favorite color — purple — decorated the field.
Locals, including McLoud High School football manager Maci Wilson, were heartened by the display.
“I didn't know all of these people knew her that well until this happened,” Wilson told News OK. “People actually cared about her. I like that.”
Sophomore football player Nick Kimball echoed the sentiment.
“When we say nothing is a given, nothing is given to you," Kimball told his team ahead of the game. "You're not given another day. Nothing for sure. You guys have an opportunity to go do something fun and great that you love ... You know I love you guys. I want the best for you guys, but I also know that through all of this stuff you still have to go out and you still have a job. You've got to go out and represent."
Cynthia Thomas, Kaylen's mother, said that her daughter will be remembered as an honor student and athlete.
“She had plans to go to college. I didn't even get to get her driver's license yet,” Cynthia told News 9, another Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based news organization.
As of October 7, an investigation is ongoing but one person had admitted to holding the gun, according to News OK.