April 19, 2024
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PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — The family of a 19-year-old woman who was shot and killed in northwest Portland last week believe she was caught in a crossfire.

On Aug. 13 at about 2 a.m., police responded to the Pearl District on a shooting call and found Rylee Hatlen suffering from a gunshot wound. Despite first aid, she died at the scene.

Her parents, Ryan and Allegra Hatlen, believe she had nothing to do with the gunfire.

“My daughter had her life cut short,” Ryan Hatlen said. “Stupid gun violence. Senseless gun violence.”

Allegra Hatlen says that an arrest is still yet to be made.

“It’s just hard because I can’t figure out who is at fault and why anyone would do this to my baby girl,” she says.

“It’s just hard to think of the things that won’t happen,” her father added. “I’ll never see her walk the aisle or have a baby. That’s hard.”

Ryan Hatlen says his daughter ran track and loved to dance, describing her as a “girly girl.” Her mother says she loved to write poetry and short stories. Both called her “a light.”

“She was my baby girl,” Ryan Hatlen says. “She was my princess.”

“She was on her way,” her mother says. “She was just becoming an amazing young woman, and it’s really unfair.”

Ryan Hatlen described the moment he eventually found out what happened as “like a dream. It was emotion after emotion.” He shook his head. “Knowing it’s real. Hoping it’s not real. Knowing it’s real. It’s rough.”

Ryan Hatlen wishes he could have been there for his daughter in her final moments and tell her “how much I love her and how much she meant to me. I’d tell her to run, and I’d try to take her spot.”

“I love you” is also something Allegra Hatlen would like to say to her daughter one more time. “It seems like it’s getting harder every day. Every morning when I wake up, it’s worse.”

Both parents agree that nothing prepares you for this and encourage other parents to remind their kids just how special they are, “because you never know if you won’t get the chance again,” Ryan Hatlen said.

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Allegra Hatlen said she is left with so many unanswered questions and said, “We have to stop this. We can’t let any more of our children get hurt.”

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