At 16, Kaylen Thomas had her entire life ahead of her. She was especially looking forward to playing varsity basketball for the McLoud Redskins this season.

At 16, Kaylen Thomas had her entire life ahead of her. She was especially looking forward to playing varsity basketball for the McLoud Redskins this season.

The McLoud High School sophomore was shot and killed Oct. 5, leaving her family, friends and a community mourning the loss.

“She was a dedicated young girl, whether in the classroom or on the court,” said McLoud High School Principal Rhonda Hockenbury.

Kaylen was a JV player hoping to start on the varsity squad this year and Hockenbury described her as a student who was a hard worker with a great work ethic.

More than 20 counselors have been at McLoud Schools for students and staff, Hockenbury said, providing amazing outreach and support.

Most of the counselors are from nearby school districts, as well as the Kickapoo Tribe, and even some from private practice stopping by to help.

In Monday's first hour, Hockenbury said there were at least 50 students in the library to meet with counselors, followed by a steady flow throughout the day.

At lunch Monday, Hockenbury said a group of freshman and sophomore students stood silent to pray for Kaylen.

“Everyone liked her … everyone had wonderful things to say about her,” she said.

Counselors will be available all week and services for Kaylen are scheduled Friday in the McLoud gym.

Hockenbury said the goal of the counselors — and the school staff — is to help students with any needs they may have as they experience sadness, disbelief, anger and even shock about what has happened.

“We all want to be there for them and listen to them,” she said, adding the students are telling many wonderful and good memory stories about Kaylen.

“It's sad, but we're remembering her — she was taken from us way too soon,” she said.

Two teenage suspects have been taken into custody on manslaughter complaints relating to Kaylen's death, including another student at McLoud.

McLoud Police Chief Tom Pringle said Kaylen was at a classmate's home in McLoud with several students Oct. 5 when she was shot in the head. She was taken to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where she later died. Pringle said police investigated the case all weekend and on Sunday made two arrests.

A 15-year-old girl who is believed to be the shooter is being held in the Sac and Fox juvenile detention facility, Pringle said. A 16-year-old boy who allegedly brought the gun involved in this shooting and gave it to that girl is being held in Carter Hall Juvenile Detention Center in Shawnee, he added. Their names have not yet been released.

Pringle said the shooting remains under investigation, although he said they do know the shooting was not an accident.

"This was not just a couple kids playing with a gun," he said.

Because of the shooting, the school district canceled the McLoud football game scheduled last Friday night and it was rescheduled and played Saturday afternoon in Cushing. Cheerleaders and football players from both teams paused to pay tribute and purple balloons, – Kaylen's favorite color — were released in remembrance by the McLoud team.

In addition, the Kaylen Thomas Memorial Fund has been set up to assist her family with funeral expenses. Donations may be taken to the BancFirst in McLoud, PO Box 130, McLoud, OK 74851, or to Melanie Krausse at the McLoud Chamber office or to Hockenbury at McLoud High School. A Go Fund Me page also has been set up.

Funeral services for Kaylen will be 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12 in the McLoud High School gym.