8-year-old Speaks Out After Mother’s Boyfriend Murders Her Family

8-year-old Speaks Out After Mother’s Boyfriend Murders Her Family January 21, 2019
Screen grab from KPTV interview with Hailey

An 8-year-old girl that survived a gruesome attack on Saturday night wants the world to know her story. Hailey Grimm sat down with KPTV in Oregon to share her story and thank officers for saving her life.

On Saturday, January 19, Clackamas County Sherriff’s Office responded to a call on South Barlow Road. When they arrived, police found one victim lying dead outside the home.

Police heard screaming coming from inside the home. Upon entering the house, they found Mark Gago trying to kill a young girl. To save the girl, Police shot and killed Gago.

As police combed the crime scene, they found four bodies. Police later identified the 9-month-old Olivia Lynn Rose Gago, 31-year-old Shaina E. Sweitzer, 66-year-old Jerry William Bremer, and 64-year-old Pamela Denise Bremer.

Neighbors reported the crime after a woman came frantically running over for help. According to the neighbor, the victim told her that Gago attacked her with an ax or splitting maul. After helping the woman, the neighbors called the police.

Both the adult female and the young girl were later taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The girl, Hailey Grimm, was released from the hospital to the custody of her father, Jason Grimm. On Sunday, Hailey told her father she wanted to share her story. Jason and his mother reached out to KPTV to request an interview.

Hailey sat stoically on a couch between her father and grandmother. She clutched an empty cup of water and barely blinked while she discussed the incident.

The young girl spoke fondly of her mother and called her the “best mommy ever.”

“Every time I dream at night, I can’t stop thinking about my mommy,” said 8-year-old Hailey, sitting alongside her father and grandmother. “She was the best mommy ever.”

On the night of the attack, Hailey said that Gago was speaking in riddles. He placed his hands around her neck and began to strangle her. Shortly after he started his attack, police rushed into the home and killed Gago.

Hailey then said, “Police officers, if you’re watching this, thank you.”

Despite the horrific events, Hailey told the reporter she believes she will be ok. She said while she missed her mom terribly, she now considers her mom as her guardian angel in heaven.

“I think I’m strong because of my mommy as an angel in heaven. I think she’s gonna be my angel,” Hailey told FOX 12.

She went on to say,

“I miss my mommy and Olivia a lot. And the last time I saw my mommy is when she said ‘I love you.’”

Jason Grimm told KPTV that Hailey would live with him in Tacoma. He said that she would need a lot of support and help to recover from the loss of her mother, sister, and the attack.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime and searching for a motive. Neighbors told KPTV that they believed Gago was high on meth. Additionally, a medical examiner will perform autopsies on the victims to determine their cause of death. Police did not know what weapon Gago used in the crime.

The police officers that were involved in the shooting were all placed on paid administrative leave per department guidelines.

Hailey is so brave to share her story. The other surviving victim saved Hailey’s life by escaping from Gago and calling the police. Police saved Hailey by killing Gago.

These officers should not be placed on leave but instead commended by the community for risking their lives to save Hailey.

Watch her interview here.

A GoFundMe was set up to help with Hailey’s care and funeral expenses for her mother and sister.

 

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John-Hugh Boyd

    the paid leave is due to there was a police shooting as well as dealing with the trauma….. such a crime is perfect for inducing PTSD

  • Daffodil

    Yes, thank you for clarifying that. This is not punishment for shooting someone but understanding that police officers see a lot of nasty things and need to time to process.

  • Robert Baden

    There needs to be procedures for cases when things are not as clear cut as in this instance.

  • otrame

    There should be detailed investigations whenever a cop uses deadly force. Period. Putting them on paid leave is not an implication they did anything wrong. It allows them some time off to deal with the fact that they killed a man, and allows the department to insure that the shooting really was an acceptable use of deadly force. This is a good thing.

  • Samantha Vimes

    Agreed– in this case, I think it has nothing to do with considering disciplinary action and everything to do with giving them time to process.