LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Despite enduring unimaginable, heartbreaking grief, the family of the victims who were shot and killed in east Lawton over the weekend is speaking out.
Russell Cliburn shot and killed his ex-girlfriend Krystle Easley, 34, and their two young children, Emma, 6, and Kristo, 5, before turning the gun on himself.
“I was aware of some stuff that had happened before, I just didn’t believe it was as bad as it was and I think she didn’t want to tell me how bad it was,” said Levi Easley, Krystle’s brother.
The family says there were concerns in the past, but never in a million years would this have ever crossed their minds.
“I never would have thought that this would have happened to them... at all," said Easley.
Although the shock may never fade, Krystle’s family is upholding the memories to help them through.
“They were just full of life," said Easley. "Kristo was a dancing fool and Emma, she just loved barbie dolls and she loved to color. Just thinking of them puts a smile on my face. They were inseparable. They held hands and fought and played... just like a normal family. They were just a lot of fun.”
Krystle’s family says she was their light.
“I want everybody to remember about Kris is the brightness that she shined," said Easley. "That girl always smiled.”
“Krystle was a wonderful person who never was negative she brought joy to everybody,” said Lesa Sparks, the principal of Carriage Hills Elementary.
Krystle taught special education at Carriage Hills Elementary. They’re also mourning the loss.
“Her students, whether they were in her class or not in her class she just touched their lives in a way that is irreplaceable,” said Sparks.
“That’s why I think that God formed her heart and her mind around to do what she did," said Easley. "She loved her students like they were her children.”
“Her being gone is just leaving an emptiness with all of us,” said Sparks.
The family is drawing strength not only from friends and family, but the community as well.
“She made a change in so many’s people lives," said Easley. "She meant so much to so many people.”
Geronimo Elementary School is holding ‘Let Our Light Shine Bright’, a celebration of life, for Emma and Kristo at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 10, 2019.
The family created a GoFundMe to help with funeral arrangements. https://www.gofundme.com/f/74a5g-funeral-and-other-costs
They say Emma and Kristo will be buried with their mom because Krystle would have wanted to be with her babies. The wake will be Friday, October 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at Lawton Ritter Gray Funeral home. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Western Hills Christian Church near 82nd St. and Cache Road.