Investigators say a teenager shot and killed his parents, sister and a family friend just before midnight in the family home on New Year’s Eve. His brother and grandfather managed to get away unharmed.
The boy, 16, opened fire in the Long Branch, N.J., home, killing his father, mother, sister and a family friend who also lived there, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccio said in a statement. Police received a call and responded to the home around 11:43 p.m., and the suspect was apprehended without incident, Gramiccioni said.
“We are confident that this is a domestic incident that is completely isolated,” Gramiccioni said. “It’s a terribly tragic incident.”
Authorities are withholding the boy’s name since he is a minor, but the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office reported the names of the deceased as: Steven Kologi, 44; Linda Kologi, 42; Brittany Kologi, 18; and Mary Schultz, 70. Schultz is reportedly an “acquaintance” of the family.
The suspect’s brother and grandfather were also inside the residence at the time shots rang out but they were able to flee without injury, said Gramiccioni in Monday’s news conference.
The teen allegedly used a Century Arms “semi-automatic assault rifle” in the shooting rampage, authorities said. The gun belonged to a member of the family, Gramiccioni said.
When reporters asked Gramiccioni about a possible motive or whether the suspect had a mental disability he did not want to comment. He did confirm that the shooting was an “isolated” domestic incident. According to police, the home did not have a history of violence to their knowledge.
“The Kologis were very caring, loving people and always looking to do fun things with their kids,” Walter Montelione, Linda Kologi’s cousin, said in an interview with WCBS-TV. “He was a good kid. He was a little, you know, slow with learning disabilities, but he knows right from wrong.”
Brittany Kologi was a first-year student Stockton University in Galloway Township, N.J., where she was taking health sciences classes, a university spokeswoman told Fox News.
“We are shocked and saddened by the reports of the death of freshman Brittany Kologi under such tragic circumstances,” Diane D’Amico, a Stockton University spokeswoman said. She added that counseling staff will be on hand for students.
Veronica Mass, 69, told NJ.com that Linda Kologi and her daughter were friends since childhood. She said she was “stunned” by the shooting.
“They were a close-knit family,” Mass said. “No drugs, no alcohol.”
She also said that the boy gunman had been home-schooled. He had a tough time keeping up with other students academically and was teased by his peers, she said.
But, Mass said the suspect “improved dramatically after being home-schooled” and was “outgoing, very friendly. He would tell jokes.”