A father from upstate New York allegedly murdered his 14-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself, calling his estranged wife before committing the act and telling her “This is how it ends for us.”
On Friday, Ava Wood, a ninth grader at Durgee Junior High School in Baldwinsville, was discovered shot to death in her bed after her mother, Heather Wood, told police she failed to show up for school, reported the Post-Standard of Syracuse.
Her father, Christopher Wood, 51, was also found dead, of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in another bedroom in the home where police recovered a shotgun, the outlet reported.
The night prior, Christopher had called Heather, telling her “This is how it ends for us,” CNY Central reported, citing an Onondaga County 911 dispatcher who described what the estranged wife reported.
Heather Wood reportedly told the dispatcher that Christopher had been experiencing symptoms of depression prior to the shootings.
“It’s difficult, to say the least, it’s not an easy scene for either of us to witness, both the sheriff and I have been in law enforcement for a long time and to have to walk through a scene like that is not an easy thing to do,” said Baldwinsville Police Chief Michael Lefancheck, referring to county Sheriff Toby Shelley.
Two days prior, Christopher had sent Heather a series of harassing text messages, and in March 2022, he was involved in a stalking incident involving her, according to the Post-Standard. The two were still married but were separated and did not live together. Lefancheck said that Ava had primarily lived with her father.
In an email to parents, the Baldwinsville school district said “It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I inform you of the tragic loss of Durgee Jr. High School 9th grade student Ava Wood,” adding, “We are a close-knit school community and our hearts are broken by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with Ava’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”
On Saturday, Heather issued a statement thanking the community for its support amid the tragedy.
“We want to begin by expressing our gratitude for the outpouring of love that we’ve received in the last 24 hours — it is the love and support from our community that will sustain us in the coming days,” she said.
“To Ava’s friends, classmates, and teammates: please continue sharing photos and tributes to Ava. She loved each and every one of you, and we are grateful for the love you have shown her and our family,” the devastated mother said, adding that the family “must plan for celebrating Ava’s life and laying her to rest.”