Kaylin Gillis, 20, was with her boyfriend and two friends when they were met with gunfire, according to authorities.
The incident took place on Saturday, April 15th, when they turned on the wrong street while looking for a party. They accidentally drove into the driveway of Kevin Monahan, 65, who proceeded to fire two shots from his porch. One of them hit Gillis, who was in the passenger seat.
The friends immediately fled the property, driving several miles to get cell service and calling 911. Emergency services arrived within minutes. Despite the crew’s best efforts, however, they were unable to save Gillis, who was a resident of Schuylerville, New York. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer later arrived at the homeowner’s property to investigate the fatal incident, however, Monahan was uncooperative and did not come out of the house. Authorities were forced to speak to him through another officer. It wasn’t until nearly an hour later that he was taken into custody.
Monahan has since been charged with second-degree murder and taken to Warren County Jail. He has lived at the property for several years and works as a laborer.
While it’s unclear how long the group was in the driveway, police believe it was a very brief period. In fact, they were already exiting the driveway when the shots were fired. In a news conference on Monday, Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy stated that there was no reason for Monahan to feel threatened.
The incident happened just days after 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot after arriving at the wrong house to pick up his siblings. Fortunately, he survived.
A GoFundMe campaign has since been set up to help Gillis’ family pay for funeral expenses. The page notes that Gillis, who aspired to become a veterinarian or marine biologist, had “just turned 20” and described her death as a “tragic loss.” A recent high school graduate, she was looking forward to going to college in Florida to pursue her dreams.
Kurt Mausert, Monahan’s attorney, however, offered a different description of events. In an interview with CNN, he said there were multiple vehicles coming up to the driveway, including revving engines, and a motorcycle, all of which approached at a high speed. According to Mausert, this gave Monahan the feeling that “there was menace going on.”
Police officials later confirmed that there was more than one vehicle traveling together in the area, including two cars and a motorcycle, the latter of which traveling up and down the street looking for an address.
Monahan, who was unaware his bullets struck someone, later called Mausert and told him there were several police officers on his property and had no idea why they were there. Mausert subsequently got in touch with the sheriff’s deputies and was informed of the fatality. He then arranged for Monahan to turn himself over to law enforcement.