Long Branch slayings: My grandson was obsessed with killing his family
LONG BRANCH — It was New Year's Eve in 2017 and the Kologi family was "having a good time," Adrian Kologi recalls.
He had spent the evening at the family's Wall Street home with his longtime companion, Mary Schulz, his son, and daughter-in-law and their daughter and two sons.
The family, however, never got to ring in the new year. Fifteen minutes before the clock struck 12, Steven Kologi, 44, Linda Kologi, 43, Brittany, 18, and the 70-year-old Schulz would be shot dead at close range by a rifle.
The gunman, prosecutors say, was Adrian's 16-year-old grandson Scott, who has been charged with murder as a juvenile.
A year later, the case continues to slowly work its way through Family Court, closed to the public because of the defendant's age.
Kologi, meanwhile, continues to live in the home where most of his family was wiped out inexplicably.
"Two thousand people showed up for the funeral and I haven't heard from any of them," Kologi said this month in an interview with New Jersey 101.5. "Most of them said they'd keep in touch but that's human nature I guess."
Kologi said that fateful New Year's Eve took a turn for the worse when Scott found the rifle.
"He took it outside and walked around the block to kill people," Adrian said. "On his little walk he decided, 'Oh, I'm not going to kill strangers I'm going to go home and kill my family.'"
Kologi said his grandson's "brain was messed up" by a tumor and nerve damage from childbirth.
"Who knows what his brain was thinking?" Adrian said, unable to finish his thought. "He was making comments that nobody ... "
"I tried to warn Steve and Linda he was saying stuff and acting. (Scott) got mad at me for ratting him out. He was obsessed with killing his family."
Monmouth County prosecutors are seeing to try Scott as an adult. The office is bound by a gag order preventing them from speaking publicly unless the case is moved to Superior Court for an adult trial.
Kologi said he has not visited his grandson at the Middlesex County juvenile facility where he is being held.
"Last time I saw him he was at the police station. I walked down the hallway and he turned around and yelled out, 'I love you grandpa' and I just ignored him. He had a strange way of showing love," Kologi said.
Scott has been described as being on the autism spectrum. Authorities have not discussed what role, if any, developmental disabilities might have played.
Former Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi told New Jersey 101.5 the diagnosis does not necessarily mean he will escape a murder conviction. "Whatever his issues are, they have to be to a point where he does not appreciate the difference between right or wrong," Bianchi said.
Prosecutors have said that the gun was legally registered to a member of the family but did not disclose how Scott gained access.