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New details have emerged in the fatal shooting of a woman who went to the wrong address

When Kailyn Gillis and her friends took a wrong turn on an upstate New York driveway last weekend, they didn’t know the property was owned by a man who, according to a neighbor, had grown increasingly bitter about people driving by over the years. His land by mistake.

This time, the error proved fatal. Hebron landowner Kevin Monahan opened fire Saturday night. Killing 20-year-old Gillis Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said he and his friends left after turning into a long dirt driveway.


Kaylin Gillis


Monahan, 65, was arrested on charges of second-degree murder and is being held pending a bond hearing.

One of his neighbors, Adam Matthews, who runs an auto repair shop in nearby Salem, said Monahan had become increasingly annoyed in recent years by taking wrong turns in his driveway.

“I’m a little overwhelmed,” Matthews said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “It’s a sad event.”

Murphy said Gillis and his friends got lost while visiting another friend’s house next door. They were driving two cars and a motorcycle when they pulled into Monahan’s driveway. When they turned around after realizing the mistake, Monahan fired two shots at them as they drove away, Murphy said.

Murphy said Gillis was in the middle of a bullet that hit the back of the car and struck him, causing a fatal wound.

Gillis’ boyfriend, 19-year-old Blake Walsh, told NBC News that he was driving Gillis and two other friends when the shooting started.

“My friend said, ‘They’re shooting – go!’ I tried to step on the gas as fast as I could, and that’s when the fatal shot came,” Walsh told NBC. He said Gillis was hit in the neck.

In a statement sent to CBS News, Gillis’ family called her “a kind, beautiful soul and a ray of light to those lucky enough to know her.”

They said the 20-year-old was an artist and a “Disney fanatic” who was looking forward to starting college in Florida to become a marine biologist.

“Our family will never be the same but we will be guided by Kailyn’s positivity, optimism and joy as we learn to live with her loss.”

Monahan’s lawyer, meanwhile, spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday, calling the sheriff’s version of events a “superb, simplistic” account of what actually happened.

The attorney, Kurt Maussert, declined to discuss details of the shooting, citing the pending criminal case.

“I believe we had a series of mistakes that led to a tragedy,” he said in a phone interview. “But I don’t believe my client is a villain. But not every tragedy has a villain, and I think this is one of them.”

The sheriff described Monahan as uncooperative, saying he initially refused to leave the home before surrendering peacefully about an hour later.

Maussert disputed that there was any obstruction, saying he was on the phone with his client because law enforcement officers were at Monahan’s door. He said Monahan was outside his door talking to police and officers would not say why they were there and that they did not have an arrest warrant. The lawyer said Monahan was exercising his right to remain silent when he refused to talk to police about what happened.

When police officers told the lawyer over the phone that someone had died, Maussert said he helped arrange a peaceful surrender.

“They told me there was a fatality, then it started to make sense to me,” he said. “At that point, it’s dangerous for everybody. My goal at that point was to facilitate my client turning himself in to the police safely.”

As Gillis’ family mourned Tuesday, school system officials held a press conference to express their grief over his death. Gillis graduated from Schuylerville High School in 2021, about 20 miles from Monahan’s home in Hebron. Her two younger sisters attend grades seven and nine at Schuylerville.

“We have a very close-knit community,” said Katie Ellsworth, middle school principal “And we tell them after they graduate that we will always be your school family. We will always be here to support you and take care of you and love you. And when something happens to a graduating student, it breaks our hearts. As much as they Here it is.”

Schuylerville High School Principal James Ducharme said Gillis had an infectious smile.

“Her smile would light up a room,” he said. “Her personality would light up any classroom she walked into or any club activity she participated in.”

Gillis was on the competition cheerleading team for two seasons in high school, participated in the Future Farmers of America program and was an aspiring artist, school officials said.

A celebration of Gillis’ life was scheduled for Friday in Schuylerville. A GoFundMe set up for her has raised more than $100,000 as of Wednesday morning.

Gillis’ boyfriend, Walsh, told NBC he plans to attend Monahan’s bond hearing.

“I need to see who took my girlfriend away from me. I need to see her,” Walsh said.

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