An upstate New York woman was shot and killed after the car she was a passenger in pulled into the wrong driveway and a homeowner fired at the vehicle, with one of the bullets striking her.
The tragic incident went down on Saturday night at around 10 p.m. when 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis along with three others who were looking for a friend’s home in rural Washington County erroneously entered the driveway of the property on Patterson Hill Road near Hebron when the owner, 65-year-old Kevin Monahan inexplicably opened fire on the car from his porch.
One of the two shots allegedly fired by Monahan hit Gillis as the friends drove away, unable to immediately call for help due to the area lacking reliable cellphone reception, forcing them to have to drive miles to a nearby town, she had died by the time first responders reached the vehicle.
(Video: The Daily Mail)
“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 Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy during a Monday press conference.
Monahan, who was reportedly uncooperative when deputies arrived, creating “a bit of a situation” when he refused to leave his home for over an hour, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
“He was uncooperative with patrols on the scene. After approximately more than an hour of talking back and forth, he was taken into custody,” Sheriff Murphy said. “There was no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened, especially as it appears the vehicles were leaving at the time.”
(Image: Screengrab/The Daily Mail)
The tragedy left Gillis’ friends and family shaken and grieving.
“She was one of those kids who make you say, ‘I wish she was my kid.’ She was very attuned to people’s needs and feelings,” 48-year-old Chuchay Stark who knew the victim since she was a child told the New York Post. “But there was no lack of confidence. She knew what she wanted. She knew her voice, and wasn’t afraid to be creative.”
“In a small town, everybody is your children. Not being a family member, it’s still devastating. I can only imagine how heartbroken Angel and Andy are,” she said referring to Gillis’ mother and father.
The story hasn’t drawn the same attention as another tragic shooting due to a similar mistake, with media and an angry mob demanding punishment after an elderly Missouri man shot and seriously wounded a teenager who approached his house in error.
Many have suggested that the tragic incident that left 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in the hospital where he is fighting for his life has become a major story because, unlike Gillis, the victim is black.
Yarl was shot in the head by 84-year-old Andrew Lester last Thursday when he rang the doorbell of the wrong house after going to pick up his siblings, leading to protests and an outcry from those seeking to gin up a racial firestorm.
The incident was immediately glommed onto by attorney Ben Crump who, like in other high-profile cases involving racial grievances and shootings, is representing the family.
“I can tell you there was a racial component to the case,” Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson said, as the case is drawing national headlines.
The incidents have one thing in common in that both properties had posted warnings about trespassing, with Lester’s home having signs reading “No Solicitors” and “This property is protected by surveillance cameras,” and Monahan’s having similar signage, not that it is an excuse to open fire on violators.
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