Kaylin Gillis Upstate NY woman shot & killed by homeowner pulling up in wrong driveway. Kevin Monahan, Hebron homeowner charged with murder.
Living in America is a very risky experience indeed.
A 20-year-old woman was shot dead by an upstate New York homeowner over the weekend after the driver of the car she was riding in turned into the wrong driveway, authorities said.
Kaylin Gillis, of Saratoga County, was inside the vehicle with three friends when they made a wrong turn into a driveway while searching for a friend’s house in the town of Hebron, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
As the driver of the car was leaving, Kevin Monahan, the owner of the home the group accidentally pulled up to, allegedly fired two shots from his patio at the vehicle, authorities said.
Gillis was struck by one of the bullets following the shooting which took place just after 10pm, Saturday night.
‘We will never be the same!’ Kaylin Gillis parents devastated over upstate NY shooting death of 20 year old daughter, ‘lost & heartbroken,’ as new questions are asked. https://t.co/pyKVXdwlsy #Kaylin Gillis #KaylinGillis #Angelique and Andrew Gillis #Kevin Monahan #Ralph Yarl
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) April 19, 2023
‘She was just so young and she still had so much to live for’
Monahan, 65, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said during a Monday press conference.
‘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,’ Murphy said.
Following the gunshots ringing out, Gillis and the friends drove away until they could call for help in a neighboring town, Murphy said, noting the area lacks reliable cellphone service.
Gillis was pronounced dead when first responders reached the car.
‘She was just so young and she still had so much to live for. She had a very loving boyfriend, and she was so in love with him,’ Gillis’ cousin Haleigh Eustis, 20, told the nypost.
‘I can’t imagine how he feels right now. I know they were attached at the hip. And she had a very loving family. It’s just a loving, big family, and she had such a strong backbone from being a part of this family. And I feel so much anger that she can’t have that anymore.’
The homeowner and group of friends in the car did not interact, Murphy said.
No clear threat ever existed
The group of friends also never left the car, Murphy added.
It’s unclear how long the car was in the driveway, but Murphy noted it was only a ‘very short time.’
The area where the shooting took place is very rural with many dirt roads where it’s ‘easy to get lost,’ Murphy said.
‘There’s clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicle,’Murphy said. ‘There’s no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened.’
When deputies arrived at the home, Monahan, a laborer, was allegedly uncooperative.
He refused to leave his home for over an hour, leading to ‘a bit of a situation’ before he was taken into custody, Murphy said.
Would the homeowner still have shot the teen had he been white instead? Kansas City 85 year old man charged with racial shooting of 16 year old black teen knocking on wrong door https://t.co/xdHsfQu4SM #Andrew Lester #AndrewLester #Ralph Yarl #RalphYarl pic.twitter.com/yQjxx9oLP7
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) April 18, 2023
Trigger happy in America?
Monahan is being held in neighboring Warren County before he appears in a Washington County court at a later date.
Gillis’ father is a correction officer at the Washington County jail, the Times Union reported, citing public records.
The newspaper reported, citing a source, that investigators don’t believe mental illness or alcohol are factors in the shooting.
Friends of Gillis and her distraught family were still in disbelief over the fatal gun violence.
Chuchay Stark, 48, told the nypost, Gillis was ‘really a gentle soul’ who she has known since she was a little girl.
‘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,’ Stark told the tabloid. ‘But there was no lack of confidence. She knew what she wanted. She knew her voice, and wasn’t afraid to be creative.’
When her daughter told her about Gillis’ death, she wept.
‘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 in reference to Gillis’ mother and father.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help raise money for funeral costs.
The New York shooting comes two days after Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot and wounded after he rang the doorbell of a Kansas City, Missouri home Thursday. Andrew Lester an 85 year old homeowner has since been charged with the teen boy’s shooting.