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Boyfriend of woman shot dead after car drove into wrong driveway tells court of ‘frantic’ reaction

Kaylin Gillis, 20 was fatally shot in upstate New York in April

Michelle Del Rey
Thursday 18 January 2024 23:03 GMT
Mike Pence declines to condemn shootings of Ralph Yarl and Kaylin Gillis

The boyfriend of a 20-year-old woman who was killed after the car she was in pulled into the wrong driveway in upstate New York told a court of the “frantic” scenes after she was shot.

Blake Walsh, also 20, was driving the car with Kaylin Gillis and two other friends inside. He told the courtroom how he heard a shot hit the car and then saw his girlfriend slumped over in the passenger’s seat, The Associated Press reported.

“Frantic in the car … people were screaming,” he said, describing the moment Gillis was hit by gunfire, as he testified that another friend saw a man shooting at them.

Mr Walsh said he remembered telling his friend, Katherine Rondeau, who was leading the group to a party in Hebron, that they needed to find a hospital. “I thought I knew where I was going,” Ms Rondeau told the jury.

The group had to travel several miles for cell service to make a 911 call. Eventually, a dispatcher coached them through CPR until first responders could arrive. Gillis died shortly after they arrived at the scene.

The owner of the property they accidentally strayed onto, Kevin Monahan, 66, was later charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

The court was told that after realising they were at the wrong house, the group turned their two cars and one motorcycle around and quickly tried to leave the property.

Prosecutors say that is when the defendant came onto his porch and fired two shots at the vehicles, the second of which killed Gillis.

Mr Monahan’s defence attorneys told the jury that the firearm went off accidentally, but a firearms expert testified this week that the gun was functioning properly at the time of her death.

Gillis’s death happened around the same time as two other high-profile shootings.

Ralph Yarl, then 16, thought he was picking his younger siblings up from their babysitter’s home in Missouri when he was shot in the head by a white man. Andrew Lester, 84, pleaded not guilty for shooting the Black teen. His trial has been set for 7 October 2024.

Payton Washington, a cheerleader at Baylor University in Texas, was shot three times and seriously injured after her friend accidentally got into the wrong car. She was hit in her right buttock and once in the back, resulting in an injury to her abdomen.

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