Police: Mom's boyfriend fatally shoots 2 teens, kills himself inside Watertown home

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An argument over cigarette smoking inside a Watertown home turned fatal Tuesday night after a live-in boyfriend shot a teenage brother and sister, before turning the gun on himself, police say.

Della Jette, 15, and Sterling Jette Jr., 16, were killed in the incident Tuesday around 9:47 p.m. at 1190 Litchfield Road.

Police say they received a 911 call from a woman who told them her boyfriend had just shot her teenage children.

"She reported her live-in boyfriend was armed and had just shot her daughter and son," says Watertown Police Chief John Gavallas.

The chief says Sterling was found “lying between the kitchen and living room” and Della was found on the back deck. Both teens were transported to Waterbury Hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.

Police say the boyfriend of the mother, Paul W. Ferguson, 42, shot the teens and then shot himself in the head inside a locked room. He was pronounced dead at the scene.



Garrett Kowalski, a friend of Sterling Jette Jr., told News 12 that “he didn’t deserve it.”

“He had the biggest heart out of anyone I knew," says Kowalski, who had just dropped Sterling off at home an hour before the gunfire.

Sterling and Della were both athletes at Kaynor Technical High School, where grief counselors spent the day. Back in Watertown, friends set up a makeshift memorial.

Police say the argument stemmed over a complaint Della had about Ferguson smoking cigarettes inside the basement of the home. They say Ferguson moved into the home just two-weeks ago and was a convicted felon who should have never had access to guns.

The Superintendent of Schools for Watertown, Jeffrey Wihbey also released a statement.

"Our hearts go out to the students' family and friends during this difficult time. There is nothing worse that can happen to a school community. Our number one priority right now is doing all we can to support our students, staff and families through this crisis. Prior to the start of the school day, Kaynor Tech assembled the school's crisis team. The team will provide grief counseling to students and anyone in the school community who may need it over the coming days."

The Watertown Police Department Detective Division is investigating the incident with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad.

The teens are being remembered being remembered tonight at Our Savior Lutheran Church at 505 S. Main St. in Thomaston. Another memorial is taking place Friday at Veterans Memorial Park in Watertown.

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