The death of a young New York couple was actually an accident — rather than a murder-suicide as suggested in earlier reports, police have concluded.
Jonathan Fava, 26, and Kelly Lynn Bray, 25, were killed on the night of March 4; while early reports speculated that murder and suicide were the causes of death for the young pair, the Southampton Town Police said last week that the shootings deaths were, in fact, a tragic accident, The Southampton Press reported.
Fava and Bray were at their Long Island home and had consumed a “a significant amount of alcohol” before the gun that killed them was “passed around,” Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said, according to the paper. Authorities think that Fava and Bray believed that the gun, a Glock semi-automatic pistol, was not loaded.
It is not clear who fired the gun or if it was accidentally discharged, but they have concluded that only one shot was fired and that shot struck both parties in the head, killing them.
Authorities came to that conclusion following an investigation, during which they found that only one shell casing was at the scene of the shooting, Newsday reported. They also interviewed an unidentified woman who was the only other adult at the home at the time of the shooting, and who repeatedly told authorities that she heard only one shot that night, according to The Independent.
The couple leaves behind a toddler daughter, who was home when the shooting occurred but was not harmed, per The Independent’s report. She is now being taken care of by an unnamed relative.
“This is a tragic event that underscores the dangers of alcohol use while handling weapons,” Skrynecki said, according to Newsday.
The gun that was used to kill the couple was not registered and neither Fava nor Bray had a permit to carry it, authorities said at a press conference held shortly after the couple was killed. Skrynecki hesitated then to describe the couple’s death as a murder-suicide, and instead acknowledged it as one “potential” description of many.
Skrynecki also stated that while Fava had a history of incidents involving guns and that several weapons were recovered at the home, the couple did not have a history of domestic violence.
Authorities have said that the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
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