Kaylin Gillis was fatally shot by a homeowner in upstate New York on Saturday night.
The incident occurred when the driver of the car she was riding in accidentally turned into the wrong driveway.
Gillis and three friends were searching for a friend’s house in Hebron, a town in Saratoga County, when they made the wrong turn, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
As the driver of the car was leaving the driveway, the homeowner, Kevin Monahan, allegedly fired two shots from his patio at the vehicle. One of the bullets struck Gillis, resulting in her death. The homeowner was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
“This is a very sad case of some young adults who were looking for a friend’s house and ended up at this man’s house who decided to come out with a firearm and discharge it,” said Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy during a Monday press conference.
Gillis and her friends drove away after the gunshots rang out around 10 p.m. They could only call for help in a neighboring town because the area lacked reliable cellphone service. Gillis was pronounced dead when first responders reached the car.
The group of friends never left the car, and they did not interact with the homeowner, according to the sheriff. It’s unclear how long the car was in the driveway, but Murphy noted it was only a “very short time.” The shooting took place in a rural area with many dirt roads, making it easy to get lost.
When deputies arrived at the home, Monahan was allegedly uncooperative. He refused to leave his home for over an hour, leading to “a bit of a situation” before he was taken into custody. Monahan is being held in neighboring Warren County before he appears in a Washington County court at a later date.
Gillis’ father is a correction officer at the Washington County jail, according to public records cited by the Times Union. Investigators reportedly do not believe a mental illness or alcohol were factors in the shooting.
The New York shooting comes just two days after another shooting in Kansas City, Missouri. Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot and wounded after ringing the doorbell of a home on Thursday. The incident is not related to Gillis’ shooting.
“I know for a fact that she comes from a good family, a very good family,” said Sheriff Murphy of Gillis. “And I know them personally, and she was a young girl that was taken way too young.”
The shooting has left the community in shock and mourning the loss of a young life. Gillis’ death serves as a tragic reminder of the consequences of reckless gun use and the importance of responsible gun ownership.
Kaylin Gillis’s Family, Parents, and Friends
Authorities confirmed Kaylin was from a good home, there are no details about her parents at the moment.
Again, details about friends Kaylin was in the car with are unknown.