The community is mourning a Watertown brother and sister who police say were shot and killed by their mother's boyfriend before he turned the gun on himself Tuesday night.
Wednesday was a difficult night for community members who gathered at a makeshift memorial in Watertown. Many can’t believe what one family has had to endure.
The community took a moment Wednesday to celebrate and to remember the lives of two teenagers who were lost far too soon.
“These kids were really good,” said Linda Howard, a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church, the family’s longtime church.
People gathered for a vigil by a makeshift memorial on Main Street in Watertown. Another vigil took place at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Thomaston.
“We all need to be together to mourn for them," Howard said.
Police said 16-year-old Sterling Jette and his sister 15-year-old Della were both shot in the chest at their home in Watertown Tuesday.
The siblings, who attended Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury, later died.
“They were just every parent’s dream children,” said church member Cynthia Vergauwen
Detectives said the suspect was 42-year-old Paul Ferguson, who later turned the gun on himself.
Police said the previously convicted felon had dated the teens’ mother for about two years.
“The boyfriend moves in the house two weeks ago for the holiday season. He’s gone and both her children are gone,” Watertown Police Chief John Gavallas said.
Investigators said before Ferguson opened fire, there was an argument about him smoking in the home.
In the same home three years ago, the siblings’ father took his own life.
“There would be nights where he would just be upset and cry over how he misses he dad, and I’ve kind of come to the realization that now he’s with his dad and now he doesn’t have to miss his dad anymore,” said Sterling’s girlfriend Melanie Lopez.
Now many people’s thoughts are also with the kids’ mom Danielle Jette, who they describe as a wonderful mother and beautiful person.
“To have to recover twice. It’s tough,” Howard said.
Police said based on Ferguson’s criminal background he would not have been allowed to have a gun.
Another vigil is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Watertown. Attendees are asked to bring a candle to light in the teens’ honor.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.