Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hundreds Mourn Slain Family

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hundreds Mourn Slain Family

Article excerpt

LONG BRANCH – Hundreds of mourners lined Morrell Street on Sunday in frigid temperatures to remember three members of the Kologi family, who died in a brutal New Year's Eve slaying.

They stood silently outside the door of the crowded Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, where they waited for their chance to pay respects to Steven Kologi, his wife, Linda, and their 18-year-old daughter, Brittany.

The three were shot to death last week in their home, along with family friend Mary Ann Schulz, companion to Steven's father Adrian Kologi. Schulz's funeral was held Saturday at St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church in West Long Branch.

The quadruple homicide has shaken this community, where the Kologis have lived for at least three generations.

"I can't process it," said Vinny Mota, 20, of Long Branch.

Mota said Steven Kologi, 42, coached him through Little League as a child.

"Great guy. Would bring me breakfast (at) every morning practice," said Mota as he fought back tears. "He was always there helping us. Always."

The Kologis' 16-year-old son, Scott, has been charged in connection with all four killings. The couple's older son, 20-year-old Steven Kologi Jr., escaped the shooting spree along with his grandfather Adrian and a family friend.

Linda Kologi also is survived by another son from a prior relationship, Jonathan Ruiz, who was not in the house at the time of the shooting.

Ryan Ruiz, Jonathan's cousin, said he could not explain his feelings outside of the funeral home on Sunday.

"As a kid I used to go to their house," he said. "Jonathan was older, so I would hang out with Brittany (and) Steven. So I guess I kind of grew up with them. I grew up knowing them."

Brittany was always smiling, funny and fun to be around, Ruiz said.

He said his family was still in shock about their murders.

Steven Kologi was a lifelong resident of Long Branch who enjoyed bodybuilding, skiing, softball and pool, according to his obituary. He was a devoted father who drove a truck for Clayton Concrete in Lakewood and was "charismatic and . …

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