The teen who was an athlete at her school was described as "an amazing, funny, competitive young girl who could always make you laugh."
Trigger Warning: The following article mentions gun violence which some readers may find distressing.
On January 20, 2022, 14-year-old Ava Wood and her 51-year-old father, Christopher Wood, were found dead inside their upstate New York home. The young teen was found in a separate room from her father, and both had fatal gunshot wounds to the head. Authorities believe that the father's wound seemed self-inflicted.
Christopher was still married to Ava's mother but the couple was separated and were living apart. The teen had primarily been living with her dad, according to PEOPLE. Officers arrived at the scene at around 8.30 am after the victim's mom called 911 to report that her daughter did not make it to school, The Post-Standard reported.
14-year-old girl fatally shot in apparent murder-suicide by dad in Baldwinsville home, police say https://t.co/pVAm0W8ozo— syracuse.com (@syracusedotcom) January 20, 2023
Police were informed of two previous domestic incidents between the mother and father but neither incident was violent, County Sheriff Toby Shelley said. One incident took place just two days prior where the father was sending harassing text messages to the mother, Shelley said. An incident of stalking took place in March 2022, he said.
CNY Central reported that the call between the 911 center and responders spoke of the mother talking to the father the previous night. The dispatcher reportedly is heard saying, "She talked with the male last night and he said 'This is how it ends for us.'" Christopher Wood had been depressed recently, according to the mother.
Ava was a hardworking student and played soccer and track and field. The young athlete has been described as "an amazing, funny, competitive young girl who could always make you laugh by the silly things she said and did. She always brightened everyone’s day with her infectious smile," according to a GoFundMe page which has also been launched to help the Wood family with funeral expenses. The young girl "loved her teammates and her friends and shared many memories on and off the field with them" and was "deeply adored by her momma," stated one of the Durgee Jr. High School 9th grade students.
Ava Wood was a 9th grade honor roll student, MVP of the girls JV soccer team and a key member of the track and field program. The 14-year-old was shot and killed by her father in an apparent murder-suicide.https://t.co/B9wrXAsdCU— NewsChannel 9 (@NewsChannel9) January 21, 2023
“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," Chief Lefancheck said.
A statement released from the Baldwinsville Central School District said, "The district’s Crisis Response Team is providing support and counseling to students and staff" and that it is "important to allow children to talk about their grief experiences and what they need during this tragic time. Counselors urge you to listen to your child’s concerns and questions."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe