A Connecticut man shot and killed the teenage children of his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself following an argument over his smoking habits. Police say that 15-year-old Della Jette confronted 42-year-old Paul Ferguson about his habit of smoking inside the house.
The argument escalated, and Ferguson grabbed a Glock handgun from his bedroom. When Della's brother, Sterling, 16, tried to intervene, Ferguson shot him in the leg. He then went outside on the deck and shot Della. He returned inside, shot Sterling in the chest and turned the gun on himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two teens were rushed to the hospital, where they later died. Ferguson's girlfriend, Danielle, was unharmed and is cooperating with investigators.
“The deaths of these children is a tragedy for our whole community, and the police department extends our deepest sympathy to the victims' mother, family, and friends,” Detective Mark Conway said.
Police said that Ferguson was restricted from possessing firearms following a felony conviction relating to a domestic violence charge in 2007. That was not his only run-in with the law. In 2012, he paid a fine for evading the scene of a crash and two years later was sent to prison following a third-degree larceny conviction. After he was released, he received a suspended sentence for driving under the influence of drugs.
Authorities are unsure who owned the gun or how it ended up in Ferguson's possession. Police said they found a locked safe inside the house, which contained numerous firearms. Danielle told police she did not know he had any guns in the home.
It was not the first time that the Jette family experienced a fatal incident of domestic violence. Three years ago, Sterling Jette Sr., Danielle’s former husband and father to Della and Sterling, fatally shot himself following what police described as a "minor" dispute between the two.