WASHINGTON CO., N.Y. (WTEN) — A woman was fatally shot Saturday night after a homeowner allegedly opened fire on her and her friends, who mistakenly drove to the wrong address in upstate New York, authorities said.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Kaylin Gillis, 20, and her friends mistakenly found themselves at the wrong home in the town of Hebron, roughly 55 miles north of Albany along the Vermont border.
The property owner, Kevin Monahan, 65, allegedly opened fire on the group’s vehicle without any provocation.
“This is a very sad case of some young adults that were looking for a friend’s house and ended up at this man’s house,” Sheriff Jeff Murphy said Monday at a news conference. “While they were leaving the residence, once they determined they were at the wrong house, the subject came out on his porch, [and] for whatever reason and fired two shots, one [of] which struck the vehicle that Kaylin was in.”
Gillis was fatally injured, according to authorities, and her friends could not immediately call 911 as the area has spotty cellphone service. The group had to drive to a nearby town to call for help.
Monahan has been charged with second-degree murder and was being held in a county jail.
“He was uncooperative with patrols on the scene. After approximately more than an hour of talking back and forth, he was taken into custody,” Murphy said. The sheriff would not discuss the weapon used or if it was obtained legally but did say that there was no threat against Monahan on the part of the victim or her friends.
“There was no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened, especially as it appears the vehicles were leaving at the time,” he said.
Murphy said there is no indication that law enforcement had any previous contact with Monahan or any reported trouble from his home.
There is a GoFundMe page to help Gillis’s family cover her funeral and other expenses. Murphy said the Schuylerville graduate was known as a talented artist and was well-liked in her community.
“I know for a fact that she comes from a good family, a very good family,” Murphy said. “And I know them personally, and she’s a young girl that was taken way too young.”
The shooting came just days after a Missouri man allegedly shot a Black teenager who went to the wrong house while trying to pick up his younger siblings. Andrew D. Lester, 85, has been charged with shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who is recovering at his Kansas City home.