An Oklahoma community remembered one of its own on Friday, celebrating a life cut far too short.
Kaylen Thomas, a 16-year-old student-athlete at McLoud (Okla.) High School, was killed on Oct. 5. She was shot in the head in a neighborhood across from the school’s football field. She died at Oklahoma University Medical Center.
Thomas was a basketball player and cross-country runner at the school. A service was held Friday in the school’s basketball gym.
As The Oklahoman noted, under the basketball hoop on the east end of the gym hung a white jersey trimmed with red lettering and the No. 33, Thomas’ number. Under the jersey were a bouquet of red and white roses. Under the bouquet was the casket holding Thomas.
“Her legacy will carry on and she will not be forgotten,” Doug Armstrong, Thomas’ basketball and cross-country coach, said, per The Oklahoman.
Authorities have said two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were in custody in separate juvenile detention facilities in connection with Thomas’ shooting, according to The Oklahoman.
A family friend of Thomas previously said, per The Oklahoman, that the shooting occurred at the home of the girl who is in custody.
McLoud Police Chief Tom Pringle told the Shawnee News-Star that one person in the home full of teenagers at the time admitted to holding the gun.
“Kaylen was the most precious person there could be,” Cynthia Thomas told The Oklahoman. “She was in honors classes and played basketball and (ran) cross-country. She loved her coaches and her girls.”