Hearing postponed, could be made public for NJ teen charged with killing family on New Year’s Eve

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A New Jersey newspaper petitioned the court on Tuesday to make proceedings for a 16-year-old murder suspect public, delaying the hearing until 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

The teen is charged with going room to room in his family's Long Branch home and repeatedly shooting his parents, sister and a family friend at point-blank range with a rifle just 20 minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve. The medical examiner confirmed today that all four victims were shot multiple times with a semi-automatic rifle that held 15 rounds. The shooting took place inside the family’s Wall Street home.

Neighbors told PIX11 that the teen suffered from mental challenges, Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni would not confirm or deny any information about the psychological, mental or emotional status of the teen.

The prosecutor is pushing to have him tried in adult court.

The suspect’s parents were killed, Steven and Linda Kologi, 44 and 42, as well as his sister, Brittany, 18. Also dead is a family friend, Mary Schultz, 70.

Several people escaped the gunfire, including the alleged shooter’s grandfather, brother and a woman in her 20s. The prosecutor would not say who the gun was registered to, but his comments suggested that the gun owner was still alive.

"This is a heartbreaking family tragedy,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni. “When we seek justice for the remaining family members of those who died, the sad fact is that justice is likely going to involve serious punishment for another family member and loved one.”

The prosecutor would not comment on what the shooter’s motive may have been.