In the last hour of 2017, in a brick duplex with a plastic snowman out front, a 16-year-old boy from what seemed to be a happy family picked up a semiautomatic rifle and killed his mother, father, sister and a family friend, New Jersey officials said. The boy has not been identified by the authorities because of his age, although he may be tried as an adult.

The teen was to have made an initial court appearance on Tuesday, but it was postponed until Wednesday as a judge weighed a request by a media organization to open the family court proceeding, which normally is closed, according to the Associated Press. In the meantime, friends and relatives are struggling to reconcile the massacre with their conception of the Kologi family – large, loving and “picturesque,” as described by the Asbury Park Press.

They had seen their troubles. Nearly a decade ago, Steven and Linda Kologi had filed for bankruptcy, the Press reported.

But by 2017, they were still living in the same Long Branch, New Jersey, duplex and even prospering in some ways. The couple, in their early 40s, had four children, according to the Press. wrote that 18-year-old Brittany – killed along with her parents – had recently finished her first semester at Stockton University, about an hour down the coast. “She was on the process to being great with whatever she chose,” her brother Steven Kologi would write after her death, according to Read more from…

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