A 16-year-old male used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot his parents, sister and a family friend inside his parents' Long Branch home on New Year's Eve, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
The teenager is in custody and is being charged with four counts of murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
The victims were identified as the suspect's father, Steven Kologi, 44; mother Linda Kologi, 42; sister Brittany Kologi, 18; and family acquaintance, Mary Schultz, 70. They were found by police minutes after a 911 call of shots fired.
Gramiccioni said two other family members, the youth's grandfather and brother, were able to escape the house. Both were unharmed.
Gramiccioni said "thankfully (they) left the house," and we're "OK."
Gramiccioni said officials do not have a motive for what set the youth off on a murder spree. He called the incident a "terrible tragedy."
The 911 call of shots fired was received by police at 11:43 p.m. from within the home at 635 Wall Street, Gramiccioni said.
A neighbor said he heard gunshots and fireworks from two different locations in the neighborhood go off almost simultaneously.
"I walked outside at midnight. We heard the commotion and lights flashing and saw (the police) storm the house," said James Roskowinski, referring to himself and a roommate.
Roskowinski, who is a resident on Wall Street, said he didn't know the family but felt bad upon learning the events of the tragedy.
"It's a shame the new year has to start off like this," said Roskowinski.
The suspect used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot his victims and was reportedly taken into custody without incident, said Gramiccioni.
The rifle was a Century Arms model, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor.
"The weapon was legally owned and registered to a family member," said Gramiccioni.
The four victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Gramiccioni said none of the victims were transported to a hospital.
The youth, who was not named by Gramiccioni, will most likely make his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday.
Long Branch High School Superintendent Michael Salvatore said the youth did not attend the high school. He did not confirm if Britanny Kologi or the youth's brother attended the school but he said the district would make a statement on Tuesday.
Because of the seriousness of the offense, Gramiccioni said the prosecutor could waive the youth out of juvenile court and try him as an adult, but no decision on that had been made as of Monday morning.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Long Branch Police Department continues.
The shooting was initially reported by the police over social media.
MCPO running an ongoing homicide investigation with 4 dead in Long Branch. No threat to the public as it is believed to be an isolated domestic incident. More to follow stay tuned.— Monmouth Prosecutor (@MonCoProsecutor) January 1, 2018
What a disgusting thing to have happen. God forgive me for what I am about to say, but I truly believe the State of New Jersey should erect a GALLOWS in front of Long Branch City Hall and publicly hang that kid by his neck until he is dead.
I don't care why he murdered those people. I don't care if he has "mental issues." All that is cured by a rope.
Of course, New Jersey no longer has the Death Penalty. That's a shame. Because in cases like this, where the perpetrator is caught at the scene and reportedly confessed to the killings, there is no redeeming aspect to this person.
There is no "rehabilitating" this kid or anyone else who does such a thing. Society has to be protected from him. And while society will be protected when this savage is locked in a 7' x 10' cage, there is no actual "justice" for what he did.
Thankfully, Almighty God is patient and absolutely will have the final say. I believe with absolute certainty, God is just. Ultimately, His justice is inescapable.
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER & FACEBOOKFollow @realhalturner
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK