A horrific family tragedy played out in Long Branch, New Jersey, on New Year’s Eve, when a 16-year-old boy is accused of shooting three of his family members and a family friend to death with a semi-automatic rifle.
The boy’s name has not yet been released because of his young age, but he’s already been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and is being held in a juvenile detention facility, according to NBC New York. He’s accused of killing his father, Steven Kologi, 44; mother, Linda Kologi, 42; sister Brittany Kologi, 18; and Mary Schultz, 70, a family friend who, according to NBC, lived in the house with the Kologi family.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Motive Is Unclear But a Semi-Automatic Rifle Was Used to Slay the Family
On Facebook, Linda Kologi captioned the above photo: “Family photo The Cheesecake Factory Sept. 2016” and included a heart.
“MCPO running an ongoing homicide investigation with 4 dead in Long Branch. No threat to the public as it is believed to be an isolated domestic incident. More to follow stay tuned,” The Monmouth prosecutor reported. According to The New York Post, the suspect’s weapon, a “Century Arms semiautomatic rifle — which was legally registered to a resident in the home — was seized.”
2. Other Family Members Survived the Attack
There were other family members who did escape the massacre: The boy’s brother and grandfather were unharmed, according to The New York Daily News.
3. The Teen Will Be Charged as an Adult
“The 16-year-old gunman will be charged as an adult later Monday with four counts of murder as well as one count of possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes,” The New York Daily News reported. Long Branch, New Jersey is a small town of about 30,000 people that is part of the famed Jersey Shore.
4. Brittany Kologi Had Recently Graduated From High School
Photos and a meme that Brittany placed on Facebook indicated she had recently graduated from high school. She posted the above photo on Facebook, to which her mother responded, “The BEST kids in the universe” and included a heart. Brittany jokingly responded, “No just me.”
4. The Reports Were Initially for an Active Shooter
The initial reports of the mass shooting on New Year’s Eve came across as a possible mass shooter, although authorities quickly revealed the tragedy was domestic in nature.