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GoFundMe set up to pay for funeral expenses for Warren County woman fatally shot

COLUMBIA, NJ (Warren County) — A GoFundMe has been set up for the family of Cheryl Bencivengo Schilling, 58, who was fatally shot on Monday inside her Columbia home.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the passing of Cheryl Bencivengo Schilling. On Monday, February 12th, we lost Cheryl due to a senseless act of violence. She was just 58 years old,” Meghan Schilling Kerrick, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Cheryl was known for her compassionate nature. She had a huge heart and an unwavering desire to make everyone around her happy. Her family and friends were the single most important thing in her world and Cheryl left a lasting impression on all who knew her.”

The GoFundMe campaign was created to help alleviate the financial burden faced by Cheryl’s family and 100% of the funds raised will go towards paying for funeral costs, Kerrick said

“Your generous contribution will provide some relief during this challenging period, allowing the family to focus on healing and remembering their beloved mother, grandmother, wife, sister, and friend. Let us come together as a community and show our support for Cheryl’s family during this heartbreaking time,” Kerrick said.

The intended goal of the fundraiser is $12,000. So far as of Sunday morning, they’ve raised nearly $8,300.

If you would like to donate to help with Cheryl Bencivengo Schilling’s funeral expenses, check out the GoFundMe.

On Feb. 12, at around 7:49 p.m., the Warren County Communications received a 911 call reporting a shooting at 3 Columbia St. in Columbia, the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The investigation revealed that earlier in the day Armond Anthony Avitable, 38, of East Stroudsburg was involved in a domestic dispute with a female at his residence. He was required to vacate the residence and then called an acquaintance, identified as Kevin Schilling of 3 Columbia St, seeking a place to stay, the prosecutor’s office said.

Schilling traveled to Avitable’s residence in East Stroudsburg and then accompanied him back to his home where he resides with his wife 58-year-old Cheryl Schilling, authorities said.

Both arrived at the residence at around 6:00 p.m. and shortly thereafter a dispute arose between the Schilling’s and Avitable, who became agitated and aggressive, the prosecutor’s office said.

Avitable retrieved a pump action shot gun from the downstairs area of the home and then fired a shot. The Schilling’s at that time retreated to an upstairs bedroom and closed the door, authorities said.

Avitable followed the Schilling’s upstairs with the shot gun and proceeded to the upstairs bedroom. He then opened the door and fired two shot gun blasts. Cheryl was stuck in her arm and upper left torso, the prosecutor’s office said.

Medical aid was provided to Cheryl at the scene however, she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene at around 8:28 p.m. Her death has been ruled a homicide by Dr. Wang of the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office as a result of a gunshot wound to the torso, authorities said.

Avitable then exited the home into the back/side yard at which time he saw the neighbors who had been enjoying an outdoor fire. He began to explain to them that “he (Avitable) had to shoot her because he (Mr. Schilling) was coming for him,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Avitable then fired two additional shot gun blasts at the Schilling’s home. He then left the gun on the neighbor’s property and fled the area, authorities said.

Avitable was located by the New Jersey State Police a short distance away in the area of the intersection of Interstate 80 and Route 46. He then engaged the New Jersey State troopers in a physical altercation. He was subdued and taken into custody, the prosecutor’s office said.

Upon being taken into custody, Avitable had a medical emergency. CPR and medical aid were rendered and he was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono where was pronounced dead at around 9:01 p.m., authorities said.

His cause and manner of death are currently under investigation, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General’s Office conducts investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a state grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.

The investigation remains ongoing, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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