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Police chief: Hampton Bays couple killed in March by single bullet

The scene on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays

The scene on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays last month where Kelly Lynn Bray, 24, and her boyfriend, Jonathan Fava, 25, were found fatally shot, police said. Credit: Stringer News Service

A Hampton Bays couple fatally shot last month, in what police first considered a murder-suicide, instead were both killed by the same bullet after a handgun accidentally discharged in their home, Southampton Town's police chief said Thursday night.

The late-night shooting March 4 took the lives of Jonathan Fava, 25, and his girlfriend, Kelly Lynn Bray, 24, police said at the time.

The couple's death was initially thought to be an apparent murder-suicide but a subsequent investigation — including a statement from a witness, the discovery of a single round at the scene and an autopsy report — determined both died in an accidental shooting, Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said.

Both Fava and Bray had been drinking the night they died and believed the semiautomatic Glock handgun was not loaded, Skrynecki said.

“This is a tragic event that underscores the dangers of alcohol use while handling weapons,” Skrynecki said. “The investigation has concluded … the forensic evidence at the scene, the [Suffolk Medical Examiner's] report, and an interview with an individual who was present at the house all demonstrate that it was a single shot fired from the weapon that was recovered from the scene that unfortunately passed through both victims.”

The case is still under investigation, said a spokesman Thursday night for the Suffolk police department, which collaborated with Southhampton Town cops on the case.

Skrynecki said the couple mistakenly believed the handgun was not loaded but he added that it remained unclear whether "the trigger pull was intentional or accidental."

The handgun was unregistered and illegally owned, Skrynecki said. He wouldn't say whether the gun belonged to Fava or Bray.

Relatives of the couple could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

Last month, police said a friend of the couple reported the shooting at 11:32 p.m. in a distraught 911 call. The couple's young child was home during the shooting but was found unharmed.

Afterward, police recovered several weapons from the home, including long guns and handguns as well as bows and arrows, authorities said. 

According to a notice posted on the website for Scott-Rothwell Funeral Home in Hampton Bays, Fava was engaged to Bray and the couple had a daughter born on July 4, 2018. The notice described Fava as a lifelong Hampton Bays resident who worked at a heating and plumbing company and was beloved by his colleagues.

“He was a devoted and loving father and loved his time spent with family,” the online posting said.

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