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A Connecticut mother called the police on her boyfriend after she claimed he shot her teenage son and daughter who had confronted him about smoking cigarettes in the house.
Danielle Jette dialed 911 at around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, and said her boyfriend, Paul Ferguson, had drawn his Glock pistol and shot her kids.
“She reported to us that her live-in boyfriend was armed and he just shot her daughter and son,” Watertown Police Department Chief John Gavallas said during a press conference, as reported by local station WTNH.
When police officers descended onto the home located on the leafy Litchfield Road “to engage the shooter,” they instead discovered a triple homicide.
Danielle’s 15-year-old daughter, Della, was shot in the chest on the back deck and her 16-year-old son, Sterling, was shot and lying between the kitchen and den, Gavallas said. The two were both transported to a hospital, where they died from their injuries.
He noted that Ferguson, 42, was found in the master bedroom “dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
The feud allegedly began with Della fuming over her mother’s boyfriend's habit of smoking cigarettes inside their home.
“Apparently the boyfriend smoked cigarettes, tobacco in the home, and the daughter was upset by it,” said Gavallas.
The cigarette spat “escalated” and that’s when Ferguson, who had only been living at the mother’s home for about two weeks, allegedly retreated to his bedroom and reappeared armed with a Glock pistol.
Sterling was shot while trying to stand up to Ferguson and protect his sister, according to Gavallas.
Ferguson allegedly fired his Glock and struck Sterling in the leg. Danielle is said to have then rushed downstairs to dial 911, when Gavallas said she heard “a second gunshot.”
The shot is believed to have been Ferguson gunning down Della. The man then allegedly returned back into the home and finished Sterling off by shooting him in the chest.
“I’ve been crying all day," Nicholas Mastrofrancesco told WTNH in the wake of the loss of his pal Sterling and his sister, Della.
“Our hearts go out to the students’ family and friends during this difficult time. There is nothing worse that can happen to a school community," Watertown Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Wihbey, expressed in a statement, received by the station.
The bloodshed came three years following another tragedy in the family under the same roof.
On Oct. 22, 2016, Danielle’s husband, Sterling Jette, Sr., had taken his own life by shooting himself with a gun, Gavallas said.
He also confirmed that Danielle and Ferguson had been in a relationship for two years and that the mother remains "completely distraught."
Ferguson had a criminal past: He was a convicted felon who had pleaded down from sexual assault in a spousal relationship. He had also been arrested for suspected larceny in 2014 and alleged drunk driving in 2016.
“He was not eligible to have a weapon,” said Gavallas.
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