Vigil held to remember slain family members in Long Branch

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LONG BRANCH -

Friends and family of four people shot and killed on New Year’s Eve in Long Branch gathered Tuesday evening for a candlelight vigil to remember them.

The mourners gathered at the gazebo at Franklin Lake in West Long Branch and silently stood with candles in hand. They were there to remember Steven and Linda Kologi, their 18-year-old daughter Brittany Kologi and 70-year-old Mary Schultz. Schultz was a family friend.

Many of the people who gathered at the vigil were close friends of Brittany Kologi.

“Don’t have a heavy heart. I hope this lifts up your spirits a little bit in this hard time,” a friend said during the vigil. “We all really need each other.”

Mary Schultz’s brother also addressed the crowd.

RELATED: Teen used semi-automatic rifle to kill family members, officials say

“Everybody here, I’m sure knew the Kologis or Schultzes, and thank you for coming out on such a cold night,” said Michael Schultz.

The four victims were allegedly killed by the Kologis’ 16-year-old son. The teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill them around 11:45 p.m. Sunday, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor. Friends say that the teen had special needs.

Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni that there were three other people in the house at the time, the suspect’s 20-year-old brother, Steven Kologi Jr., a grandfather and another family friend. They escaped without injury.

Gramiccioni says that the teen, whose name is not being released due to his age, used a Century Arms semiautomatic rifle during the killing.

"The rifle contained a magazine which held 15 rounds of 7.62 mm caliber rounds,” the prosecutor says.

A close family friend tells News 12 New Jersey that the weapon was legally owned by Steven Kologi Jr., who had recently enlisted in the military.

Steven Jr. remembered his parents and sister on social media in a post that said in part, “My New Year’s resolution is to be as great a parent as my parents were to me.”

The 16-year-old is expected to be in court Wednesday for an arraignment in juvenile court. The prosecutor’s office is expected to petition the court to have the teen tried as an adult.

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