20-Year-Old Woman Fatally Shot After Vehicle Pulled Into Wrong Driveway
A Hebron, New York homeowner has been charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly shot at a car that pulled into his driveway, killing passenger Kaylin Gillis.
On the night of Saturday, April 15, 2023, Kaylin Gillis, a 20-year-old artist and animal lover, was a passenger in a car with three friends. The streets in the area were not well lit, and cell phone service was limited. Her friend behind the wheel accidentally turned down the wrong driveway in Hebron, a rural town in Washington County, New York. Kevin D. Monahan, the owner of the home they were mistakenly at, then allegedly shot her dead while she sat in the car.
Monahan, 65, fired two rounds at the vehicle and killed Gillis with a 12-gauge shotgun, reported the Times-Union. The bullet that allegedly killed the young woman was created for hunters to kill large animals. It was three times bigger than the rounds that are fired by handguns.
With Gillis shot and critically wounded, the friends drove to Cemetery Road in Salem, about six miles away from Monahan’s house, until they finally got through to 911. Emergency personnel arrived and performed CPR on Gillis but she was declared dead at the scene.
Jeffrey J. Murphy, the Washington County sheriff, called the shooting “very sad” at a news conference, reported The New York Times. He said, “There was no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened, especially as it appears the vehicle was leaving.”
Kurt Mauser, Monahan’s attorney, told CNN, “This was not a simple case of coming up a driveway and turning around. The description I was given by my client is there were multiple vehicles, including a motorcycle, revving engines, coming up the driveway at a high rate of speed.”
Sheriff Murphy did confirm that there were two cars, including the one that Gillis was in, and a motorcycle that were driving together. He said witness accounts and forensics show that the shots were fired as the vehicle was leaving, and the vehicle with Gillis was the last one to leave.
Murphy explained to CNN, “I don’t know how they could menace anyone with those type of actions, but they were clearly leaving the residence when the shots were fired.”
A press release from the Washington County Sheriff’s office reported that Monahan wasn’t cooperative when police arrived at his house after the shooting. He wouldn’t leave his house to speak to investigators, but he was later taken into custody after several hours with the help of the New York State Police Special Operation Response Team.
Monahan has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the Gillis family with Kaylin's funeral expenses and “any immediate financial needs”.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Gillis’ father, Andrew Gillis, posted on Facebook, stating that his family is devastated. He stated, “Kaylin was a kind, beautiful soul and a ray of light to anyone who was lucky enough to know her,” the post said. “She was just beginning to find her way in the world with kindness, humor, and love… She was taken from us far too soon.”
Gillis was killed just two days after 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot in a similar situation, after mistakenly ringing on the doorbell at the wrong address in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager, was shot twice after ringing the wrong doorbell while trying to pick up his younger siblings. Now, the white homeowner, Andrew Lester, will face felony charges.