A 20-year-old New York woman is dead after police say she and her friends pulled into the wrong driveway, prompting a homeowner to open fire.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the incident happened Saturday night at around 9:53 p.m. in Hern, New York, after Kaylin Gillis, of Schuylerville, and three friends pulled into a driveway while attempting to find another friend’s home.
The homeowner, identified as 65-year-old Kevin D. Monahan, started shooting at the car, although the driver had quickly realized they were in the wrong driveway and was in the process of leaving the property. One of the bullets struck Gillis, police said.
The group then drove five miles until they reached Salem, where they could get a signal strong enough to call 911. First responders arrived and attempted CPR on Gillis, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the group did not interact with Monahan and never got out of the vehicle. Gillis was a passenger in the car.
Police arrested Monahan and charged him with second-degree murder. He was initially uncooperative and wouldn’t come out of his home, police said. He was eventually detained and taken to the Washington County jail.
“Monahan was uncooperative with the investigation and refused to exit his residence to speak with police. He was later taken into custody with the assistance of the New York State Police Special Operation Response Team after several hours,” police said.
Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy told CNN that Monahan already had a lawyer by the time he came out of his home.
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the sheriff revealed Monahan had already obtained a lawyer by the time he emerged from his home to turn himself over.
“[He], quite frankly, has not shown any remorse in this case,” Murphy said, adding that the suspect has not made a statement about the shooting.
His attorney, Kurt Mausert, has made several statements, however. telling the New York Times that his “preliminary view of this case is that it was a series of errors which resulted in a tragedy … It is too soon to say more than that” and CNN that his client said there were multiple cars, including a motorcycle, racing up his driveway at a high rate of speed and revving their engines.
That is not, of course, what the people in the car carrying Gillis said.
“There’s clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicle,” Murphy said, saying it was “easy to get lost” in the rural area. “There’s no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened.”
Hern, which is around 60 miles northeast of Albany, is a rural area made up primarily of dirt roads, low-level lighting, and spotty cellphone service, according to The New York Times.
“It’s a very rural area, it’s dirt roads, there’s not a lot of cellular services or any type of internet,” Murphy said.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral and related expenses for the victim. According to the fundraiser, Gillis had just turned 20 years old when tragedy struck.
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[Feature Photo: Kaylin Gillis via GoFundMe]