The older brother of a teen who gunned down the rest of the family—their parents and sister—wrote a touching tribute to his slain family on Jan. 1, just a day after the tragedy unfolded.
Steven Kologi Jr., the only one who survived the carnage inside the family’s Jersey Shore home, told his followers on Instagram “to give the ones you live an extra kiss or ‘I love you.'”
He added that he had “the greatest parents I could ask for.”
“Never once was I without a hot meal or a roof over my head,” he wrote in a statement that was reposted by a Facebook user, according to the NY Post. “They made sure Christmas came every year although they struggled financially. I cannot even describe the type of people they were so just believe me when I say how great they were.”
The tribute comes after the stunning quadruple homicide occurred. Scott Kologi, a 16-year-old autistic boy, used a semi-automatic rifle to kill his parents, Steven and Linda Kologi, his 18-year-old sister, Brittany Kologi, and 70-year-old family friend Mary Schulz.
The teen was taken into custody on New Year’s Eve, shortly before midnight.
“Very hard to understand how this happened,” Joe Rios, who identified himself as a longtime family friend, told the Asbury Park Press. “Wouldn’t expect anything like this from him. This is out of the blue.”
He added, “Something must have happened because you never, ever thought something like this would happen with their family. Ever.”
A fundraiser for the family’s burials has been started by another family friend on GoFundMe.
“Linda, Steven, and Brittany were all beautiful people with the kindest hearts you could imagine. They were sadly taken from us on New Year’s Eve,” wrote Brian Yunker. “As a close friend of the Kologi family and best friends with Jonathon since childhood, I am reaching out for help for the funeral expenses. All donations will go directly to Jonathon Ruiz who will take care of the funeral arrangements. Thank you all for the support.”
“I am grateful to have been able to call Steve my teammate and friend.” said another friend on the page, as he donated funds for the funeral. “Thanks for knocking in those runs and paving the way for me. My sincere condolences to the Kologi family and friends.”
Added another: “Steve, Linda, Brittany, and Mary will be missed dearly by everyone who knew them. If you knew Steve, he was laid back and loved his family. This is a great loss and the family will remain in my prayers.”