An upstate New York father who shot his 14-year-old student daughter on the honor roll before turning the gun on himself bought the 20-gauge shotgun just 16 days before the shocking murder-suicide.
Christopher Wood, 51, legally bought the shotgun on January 4 – just over two weeks before he used it to shoot Ava Wood, 14, in the head on January 20, the Post-Standard reported. of Syracuse, quoting the Onondaga County Sheriff. Office spokesman Tom Newton.
Ava, a ninth grader at Durgee Junior High School in Baldwinsville, was discovered in bed with a gunshot wound to the head. Her father’s body was found in another bedroom with the shotgun nearby.
“I am in my 29th year of law enforcement. It was one of the toughest scenes I’ve been through,” Sheriff Toby Shelley told CNY Central.
He said Wood had never owned a gun before, at least no police officer knew he owned one legally.
In New York State, a firearms license is not required to purchase a rifle or shotgun unless you live in New York.
The night before the murder-suicide, Wood called his ex-wife, Heather Wood, and coldly told her, “This is how it ends for us,” according to CNY Central.
Wood had previous run-ins with the law, but had no criminal convictions and was not a felon, which would have made it illegal for him to buy guns, the Post-Standard reported.
Two days before the shooting, Wood also sent his ex several harassing text messages. Early last year, he was involved in a harassment incident against her, according to the outlet.
The couple were still married but were separated and did not live together, officials said.
Heather told police he was trying to keep the relationship going and she didn’t want to press charges but wanted the incidents documented for divorce purposes, Shelley said.
Police came to the home at 6 Triangle Place after she informed them her daughter had failed to show up for school.
Meanwhile, a funeral was announced for Ava on Friday at Word of Life Assembly of God at 12 E. Oneida St. in Baldwinsville from 5-9 p.m.
The honor student and Durgee Junior High football player was ‘born with a competitive spirit and a love of life’ and was ‘well known for the strong relationships she had with her family and friends’, according to her obituary.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for Ava’s funeral costs and to support her mother.
“Ava, our beautiful friend was such an amazing, funny and competitive young girl who could always make you laugh at the stupid things she said and did,” the “AVA #19” account reads.
“She always brightened everyone’s day with her contagious smile. Her light always shines so brightly in our hearts, and always will…Ava loved playing football, she was as competitive as she could be!
“She was kind, gentle and had the most loving spirit. She loved her teammates and friends and shared many memories with them on and off the pitch. She was deeply adored by her mum and her family and she instantly stole the hearts of everyone around her,” he adds.