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It Was the Site of a Tragedy. And Now, a Murder-Suicide

3 dead in Connecticut after dispute over smoking
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2019 7:55 AM CST
A stock photo of a handgun.   (Getty Images/THACHKORN_TJ)

(Newser) – Danielle Jette lost her husband when he fatally shot himself inside her Connecticut home three years ago. On Tuesday, she lost her boyfriend and two children in much the same way. Officers responding to a 911 call found 16-year-old Sterling Jette Jr. inside the Watertown home and 15-year-old Della Jette on a back deck, both with gunshot wounds to the chest. They died shortly after arriving at a hospital, while the alleged shooter—Jette's boyfriend of two years, Paul Ferguson—died at the scene of what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, reports ABC News. Ferguson, 42, had been living with the family for two weeks when an argument erupted over his habit of smoking indoors. Danielle Jette told police Ferguson grabbed a Glock handgun stored in a bedroom, then shot Sterling in the leg when he tried to intervene.

"The mother went downstairs to call 911 when she heard a second gunshot presumably when he shot the daughter on the deck," says Watertown Police Chief John Gavallas. "He came back into the house and shot the son in the chest" before barricading himself in a bedroom. Ferguson—convicted of first-degree unlawful restraint in 2007, per CNN—was barred from possessing a firearm; it's unclear who owned the gun. "This mother is completely distraught as you can imagine," Gavallas says, per NBC Connecticut. "She was shocked. Absolutely shocked." So are friends of the teens. Both Della and Sterling had argued with Ferguson before, but "it would never be anything serious" and "there was never any violence involved," Sterling's girlfriend tells NBC. "Now he's with his dad," she adds of Sterling. "He doesn't have to miss his dad anymore." (Read more murder-suicide stories.)

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