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A 65-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder after shooting to death a young woman in Hebron, New York, who mistakenly drove into the wrong driveway Saturday night.

Kaylin Gillis, 20, was in a car with three other people looking for a friend’s house, Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy told media outlets on Monday. The group mistakenly drove into the rural driveway belonging to Kevin D. Monahan.

When Gillis realized her mistake, authorities say she attempted to turn around. That is when Monahan came out to his porch and fired two shots, one of them hitting Gillis.

Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy speaks during a press conference related to the shooting of 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis who was shot and killed allegedly by a homeowner Kevin D. Monahan when the car she was in was turning around in his driveway on Monday, April 17, 2023 in Fort Edward, N.Y.Lori Van Buren/Times Union.

Murphy said no one from the car had tried to exit the car or approach Monahan’s door. Gillis’ friends drove six miles south of Monahan’s residence, eventually meeting up with paramedics, who were unsuccessful in saving her life.

Kaylin Gillis shooting draws parallels to Ralph Yarl

In a country with one of the worst rates of gun violence, Gillis’ death comes just two days after 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot twice at point blank range after mistakenly ringing the wrong doorbell at a home in Kansas City, MO.

Yarl was attempting to pick up his siblings from a home on Northeast 115th Terrace, but he instead arrived at a home on Northeast 115th Street. Yarl was shot once at the door and again in the head while on the ground, but he discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and is expected to recover.

It was “nothing short of a miracle” that Ralph was discharged from the hospital, but “he’s not out of the woods yet,” his attorney Ben Crump told CNN on Monday.

Ralph Yarl

Gun violence number one killer of young people

In the cases of both Yarl and Gillis, the shooters themselves did not call 911. According to Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy, when officers arrived, Monahan refused to exit. Officers spent hours talking him out of his house before taking him into custody.

“Monahan was uncooperative with the investigation and refused to exit his residence to speak with police,” the sheriff’s office in a news release. “He was later taken into custody with the assistance of the New York State Police Special Operation Response Team after several hours.”

Monahan was taken to Washington County Jail, where Gillis’ father is a corrections officer, public records show. While Gillis’ shooter was immediately apprehended, an arrest warrant for Yarl’s shooter, Andrew Lester, wasn’t issued until days later.

Mass shootings have escalated to a record pace in 2023 with 162 mass shootings being reported in only 107 days according to the Gun Violence Archive.

In fact, firearms are now the number one cause of death for young people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The health policy research firm also noted the “U.S. is the only country among its peers that has seen a substantial increase in the rate of child firearm deaths in the last two decades (42%). All comparably large and wealthy countries have seen child firearm deaths fall since 2000.” 

No political appetite for gun reform

While efforts to pass substantial gun reform have been heightened in recent years, with President Biden calling for Congress to ban assault weapons and expand background check, Republicans backed by the NRA have refused to budge.

In Tennessee, daily protests have been taking place for gun safety legislation after Republican lawmakers expelled two Black legislators for protesting on the House floor.

The Alabama Legislative Black Caucus has called for gun reform after the shooting in Dadesville that left four people dead and dozens wounded on Saturday, the same day Gillis was shot dead for pulling into the wrong driveway.

“Already there have been 162 mass shooters in this country, and it’s only April 17,” said Alabama state Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Jefferson County.

Physicians in Minnesota, Black legislators in Kentucky, and advocates around the nation continue to call for gun reform, hoping to reach a breaking point.

A gofundme for Kaylin Gillis has so far raised $66,132, and a gofundme for Ralph Yarl has raised over $2.8 million.

Deon Osborne was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Lawton, OK before moving to Norman where he attended the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Media and has...

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