Heartbreaking New Details About The Autistic Teen Who Murdered His Family With A Semiautomatic Rifle At A New Year's Eve Party

Photo: New York Daily News

He used a semiautomatic rifle.

An autistic 16-year-old killed his father, mother, sister and his grandfather's partner at their home in Jersey Shore during a New Year's Eve party. 

According to police, Scott Kologi opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle less than 20 minutes before the family would have rung in the new year. Steven and Linda Kologi died, along with 18-year-old Brittany and 70-year-old Mary Schulz. 

The firearm was legally owned and reportedly registered to a family member in the home. Police have not yet identified who that person is. 

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When arriving at the home, police said they arrested the suspect, who's the youngest of four siblings, without incident. 

“Thankfully it was uneventful,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. “It didn’t require any force.”

Steven Kologi Jr., one of the suspect's brothers, and their grandfather, Adrian Kologi were in the home during the shooting but escaped without injury. 

"I just wish I could tell all of them how much they meant to me and how much I truly loved each and every one of them because I didn’t do that enough,” Steven Jr. wrote in an Instagram post. "My New Year’s resolution is to be as great of a parent as my parents were to me. Never once was I without a hot meal or a roof over my head. They made sure Christmas came every year although they struggled financially.”

Scott Kologi's grandmother's partner told reporters that he is autistic. 

"We didn't know they had a gun in the house," Gregory Zawacki said, adding that the family was not gun enthusiasts or hunters. 

A woman whose daughter grew up with Linda Kologi said the suspect was pulled out of school in the fourth or fifth grade. 

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“He wasn’t getting along with the other kids,” Veronica Mass said. “The kids were making fun of him because he couldn’t read.”

After undergoing some medical tests, Linda Kologi decided to teach her son herself. Jalen Walls told reporters that Scott Kologi required special assistance and was cared for by his mother. He didn't attend the same schools as his brothers and sister. Family friends did not consider him to be violent or troubled.

“He came to watch the softball games with Linda and he was always smiling. This is totally out of the blue,” Joe Rios said. “This is not something I ever thought this young boy would do. I don’t know what happened. He was not a violent kid. He was always smiling.”


Scott Kologi was charged as a juvenile with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm for an unlawful person. He's expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday. 

It's still unclear if his case will be elevated to adult criminal court, and police have no released a motive. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).