A 20-year-old woman was shot and killed by a homeowner in New York on Saturday after the car she was in mistakenly made a wrong turn and entered the wrong address.
According to Sheriff Jeffrey J. Murphy, Kaylin Gillis and three of her friends were trying to find another friend’s house in rural Hebron, N.Y., when they mistakenly pulled up to the driveway into the house owned by Kevin Monahan.
They quickly realized their mistake and were turning the car around to leave when Monahan came out and fired two shots, one of which struck and killed Gillis.
Her friends drove 5 miles to the town of Salem to call 911 as there was poor cellphone coverage in the area. Emergency responders performed CPR on Gillis but she was pronounced dead on the scene.
According to authorities, Monahan was arrested and has been charged with second-degree murder and detained at the Warren County Jail.
It was reported that he was initially uncooperative with investigators and refused for several hours to exit his residence or answer questions.
“There was clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicle. There was no reason for Monahan to feel threatened,” Murphy said, referring to the shooting as “very sad”.
He added that he wasn’t aware of any interaction between the passengers and Monahan. No one exited the vehicle, which was only in the driveway “for a very short time,” he said.
Gillis’ family released a statement referring to her as a “kind, beautiful soul and a ray of light to anyone who was lucky enough to know her.”
“She was a big sister, much loved daughter, devoted friend and partner to her loving boyfriend. She was just beginning to find her way in the world with kindness, humor, and love,” the family said. “Kaylin was a talented artist, an honor student, a Disney fanatic and loved animals. She was looking forward to starting college in Florida to pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist.
“She was taken from us far too soon, and we are devastated. Our family will never be the same but we will be guided by Kaylin’s positivity, optimism, and joy as we learn to live with her loss.”
It’s also not unusual for drivers to turn onto the wrong property in the area. Hebron, a hilly farming region in the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains, has a population of 1,786 in the 2020 census.