Since the young woman’s tragic death on March 15,
Gillis was with her friends when she was fatally shot after the group accidentally drove into the wrong driveway, believing it was another friend’s apartment.
The group attempted to turn around after realizing they were in the wrong house, but the homeowner, Kevin Monahan, began firing shots at their vehicle, eventually pinning and killing Gillis.
Police said there was no reason for Monaham to feel threatened and he was arrested and charged with second degree murder on Monday April 17.
According to her obituary, Gillis “left this world far before her time, her hopes and dreams deserted her in a senseless act”.
The promising young woman was born in upstate New York and graduated from Schuylerville Central School in 2021.
“She had hopes and dreams of becoming a veterinarian or a marine biologist. She loved interacting with animals, goats and dolphins being her favorites,” her obituary reads.
The memorandum also detailed the young woman’s artistic talents and love of Disney films.
“Kaylin lit up every room she was in and she was the glue of her family. She was loyal, outgoing, beautiful and smart, it was part of her natural instinct to always do the next right thing,” the message continued.
Gillis is survived by her two parents, Andrew and Angelique Gillis, as well as her sisters Madilyn and Lilliana, and a large extended family.
Her life celebration will take place on Friday April 21st. A community gathering for friends and family will also be offered prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, her family has asked for donations to the ASPCA or Go Fund Me, which was set up to organize a bursary in her memory.
Gillis’ grieving father prepared a statement following news of his daughter’s death.
“She was taken from us far too soon and we are devastated. Our family will never be the same, but we will let Kaylin’s positivity, optimism and joy guide us as we learn to live with her loss,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
In another note, before making a media inquiry, he added that it was an “extremely difficult time” for the family.
“We want Kaylin’s story to be told and show the world what a beautiful, kind person she was. Above all, we don’t want this to be politicized,” he said.
The grieving father also thanked the local community for their overwhelming support.
“Our family would like to sincerely thank the thousands of other people and other families who have expressed their support during this difficult time,” he added.