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Gun violence in the US

‘Special needs’ New Jersey boy, 16, shot dead his parents, sister and a family friend just before New Year, cops say

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 January, 2018, 1:45am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 January, 2018, 1:57am

A 16-year-old New Jersey boy armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle shot dead his parents, sister and a family friend just before the start of the New Year, police said on Monday.

The slain victims were identified as Steven and Linda Kologi, 44 and 42; Britney Kologi, 18, the suspect’s sister; and Mary Shultz, 70, a family friend who lived in the house.

All four victims died on the scene, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J Gramiccioni said at a news conference on Monday.

The teen’s grandfather and brother were able to escape, he said; officials do not believe they were targeted.

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The teenager, who was not identified, was taken into custody by the police and is expected to be charged with four counts of murder, Gramiccioni said.

A friend of the family claims the boy had unspecified special needs.

The incident unfolded around 11:43pm on December 31 at the family’s house in Long Branch, a small beachside town about 45 minutes south of Newark.

Officials did not say what sparked the outburst, but said that an emergency call had come from within the house.

“We are investigating this and are confident that it’s a domestic incident, that it’s completely isolated,” Gramiccioni said.

Prosecutors told NJ.com that the household did not have a history of domestic violence.

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The weapon, which officials described as a Century Arms semi-automatic rifle, was registered to a family member at the house, Gramiccioni said.

He said the arrest of the 16-year-old was “uneventful.”

Jake Walls, 18, a neighbour and frequent visitor to the Kologis’ house, said that the boy had special needs and was cared for by his mother.

“But he was fully functional and comprehended what we were saying,” Walls said.