CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV/CNN) - A determined 8-year-old girl is speaking out about a devastating attack, allegedly committed by her mother’s boyfriend, in which both her mother and baby sister were killed.
Hailey Grimm, 8, lost her mother, baby sister and the parents of her mother’s boyfriend Saturday night, but the little girl is a survivor. Despite her heartache, she wants everyone to know she’s going to be OK.
"She said, 'I want to tell my story,' and she said, 'If I can't tell my story, can I write it down?'" said Hailey’s grandmother, Debi Barry.
Both investigators and the 8-year-old say deputies saved her life after her mother’s boyfriend, 42-year-old Mark Gago, allegedly killed the four victims then attacked Hailey herself.
The 8-year-old says Gago was speaking in riddles and had his hands on her neck when deputies arrived.
"Then, when they came in my room, he yelled, 'No!’” Hailey said.
Deputies say Gago was attempting to kill the girl when they found the two. They opened fire, shooting and killing the suspect.
"Police officers, if you’re watching this, thank you,” Hailey said during an television interview.
Hailey says she misses her mother, 31-year-old Shaina Sweitzer, and baby sister, 9-month-old Olivia Gago.
"Every time I dream at nighttime, I can’t stop thinking about my mommy,” Hailey said. “She was the best mommy ever.”
Hailey says the last time she saw her mother, Sweitzer told her daughter she loved her. Those words are helping to keep the 8-year-old strong, even in the face of devastation.
"I think I'm strong because of my mommy as an angel in heaven. I think she's gonna be my angel,” Hailey said.
Hailey’s father, Jason Grimm, says the 8-year-old will be living with him in the Tacoma, WA, area and will have a lot of support as she recovers from the attack.
The family set up a GoFundMe for Hailey, which they say will also help pay for her mother and sister’s funeral costs.
"It was heart-wrenching. I was in the middle of making breakfast… when my son called me and told me the news, and I couldn't stop crying. It's just horrific, a horrific thing to happen, and my heart just breaks for all of the victims,” Barry said.
Deputies identified Gago’s parents, 64-year-old Pamela Bremer and 66-year-old Jerry Bremer, as the other two victims of the attack.
In addition to Hailey, an adult female survived.
A motive for the crimes is still not known.