One New Jersey teenager didn’t think that there was anything to celebrate on New Year’s Eve. Instead of watching Ryan Seacrest and Mariah Carey’s New Year’s do-over, the 16-year-old instead decided to brutally murder his entire family shortly before midnight. He mercilessly killed his sister, both of his parents and a friend of the family. Only his brother and grandfather fled and escaped the brutal killing.
The crime occurred in Long Branch, New Jersey. Police received a call at approximately 11:43 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Police arrested the teenage shooter. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni says the incident is “tragic” and “isolated.” He said that it’s a domestic incident, and they don’t believe that the public is in danger.
The victims range in age from 18 to 70. The surviving brother and grandfather were home when the shooting occurred, but they ran. Officers say the assailant used a semi-automatic assault rifle, and that a family member owned and registered the weapon.
Police aren’t giving information about a possible motive. They say they didn’t have prior calls to the home for domestic incidents. They said the killings appear to be a one-time event. Police also aren’t giving information about the mental health or disability of the killer.
Friends describe the victim’s family as “caring” and “loving.” They say the parents enjoyed spending time with their children. They also describe the victim as a “good kid.” Family members say that the assailant had learning challenges, but that he still knew how to behave appropriately. Friends say that they didn’t believe anyone in the family used drugs or alcohol.
They said they believe the killer was home-schooled because of his special needs. They say the child appeared to improve academically and emotionally with homeschooling. They describe the killer as outgoing and even funny.
The teenage victim was in her first year at Stockton University. She was majoring in health sciences. A university spokesperson says that they’re shocked by the victim’s death. They plan to offer counseling for distraught students.
The killer’s older brother said that the family wasn’t financially well off, but that the parents were committed to doing the best they could for their kids. He described his slain sister as “beautiful and smart.” Friends say that the shooter needed extra care from family members because of his challenges. The Long Branch Police Department continues to investigate. A fundraiser has raised approximately $20,000 for funeral expenses.