A father from upstate New York is suspected of fatally shooting his 14-year-old daughter before taking his own life. Reportedly, in a distressing phone call, he told his wife from whom he is separated, “This is how it ends for us.”
On Friday, Ava Wood, a ninth-grader at Durgee Junior High School in Baldwinsville, NY was found in her bed with a gunshot wound to the head after her mother, Heather Wood, informed local authorities that Ava had not shown up to school that day.
Christopher Wood, the 51-year-old father of Ava, was discovered to have died from an assumed suicide by gunshot at his home.
On Thursday evening, Christopher contacted Heather and said, “This is how it ends for us,” as reported by The Daily Mail UK.
Chief Michael Lefancheck of the Baldwinsville Police Department expressed how it was very difficult to witness a scene like that for both him and County Sheriff Toby Shelley.
“To have a young girl, age 14, whose life is cut short, to not be able to experience growing up and college and all those types of things that we all look forward to for ourselves and our children and this is just a real tragedy for our Baldwinsville community.” Lafancheck said in a news conference.
As reported by police, Heather was being harassed by Christopher. Just two days prior, he had sent her multiple text messages. In March 2022, Christopher was also accused of stalking Heather. According to police there was no restraining order against Christopher.
Although the couple was separated, they were still legally married but not living together. It was reported that Ava lived mostly with her dad.
An email was sent out by the Baldwinsville school district informing the students and parents of Ava’s death.
It read, “We are a close-knit school community, and our hearts are broken by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with Ava’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”
Ava was heavily involved in athletics at her school. She participated in both track and field and junior varsity soccer, as reported by the Post-Standard.
On Sunday evening, a large crowd of Ava’s friends, peers, and teammates assembled at St. Mary’s Church to pay their respects at a prayer service and candlelight vigil commemorating the loss of the young girl.
Heather expressed her gratitude to the community for their aid and backing during this difficult time in a statement released on Saturday.
She said, “We want to begin by expressing our gratitude for the outpouring of love that we’ve received in the last 24 hours — it is the love and support from our community that will sustain us in the coming days.”
Heather added, “To Ava’s friends, classmates, and teammates: please continue sharing photos and tributes to Ava. She loved each and every one of you, and we are grateful for the love you have shown her and our family,” the devastated mother said, adding that the family “must plan for celebrating Ava’s life and laying her to rest.”