A young couple who died on Long Island, New York, in March from what authorities initially suspected was a murder-suicide were actually killed by the same bullet — which, police allege, was fired accidentally during an evening of drinking.
The March 4 deaths of Jonathan Fava, 25, and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Kelly Lynn Bray, were the result of a tragic mishap, Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki told Newsday, the Southampton Press and the East Hampton Independent.
You’ll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications.
Skrynecki said, after speaking to an eyewitness and recovering a single shell at the scene, investigators have reversed their thinking, now saying it was an accident and not a murder-suicide.
Both Fava and Bray had been drinking the night they died and believed the semiautomatic Glock handgun was not loaded, Skrynecki said.
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 that both died in an accidental shooting, Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said.
Jonathan Fava and Kelly Lynn Bray
Both Fava and Bray were drinking the night they died. The chief said they were handling a semiautomatic Glock handgun they thought was not loaded.
“This is a tragic event that underscores the dangers of alcohol use while handling weapons,” Skrynecki explained. “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, however, has not been closed, according to the reports.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Skrynecki said that, while police believe the couple thought the gun was unloaded, it remains unclear if “the trigger pull was intentional or accidental.”
The handgun was unregistered and illegally owned, Skrynecki said.
The fatal accident happened shortly after 11:30 p.m.
The couple, who were engaged, is survived by a young daughter, who was home at the time of the shooting but was unharmed.