Friends remember teen killed in Cheshire murder-suicide


CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH)– Cheshire’s Police Chief confirmed Wednesday morning that the unthinkable happened at a house on Cornwall Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

“It appears to be a murder suicide,” said Cheshire Police Chief Neil Dryfe. “The older gentlemen, identified as the father, shot and killed the son before going back upstairs and taking his own life.”

Related: Two people dead in Cheshire shooting

The wife and mother, Holly Settembri, came home around 3:45 p.m. to find her 19-year-old son, Chris A. Settembri, dead in a downstairs bedroom, her 48-year-old husband, Chris P. Settembri, dead in the upstairs bathroom, a shotgun by his side.

“We don’t have any information that would help us to understand why something like this happened,” Chief Dryfe said. “We have not been able to find a note or any other indication.”

Friends remembered the 19-year-old at a local skate park after school Wednesday. They learned of the devastating news Tuesday night and started text messaging each other to come to the skate park after school to remember the teen. They describe him as a sweetheart.

“He was a great skater. He loved skateboarding,” said the teen’s friend Julie Sandt. She said they came out, “Just to honor him. He hadn’t been skating a lot recently, but whenever he would show up he would just surprise us with his tricks.”

“I like how we’re all coming together to remember Chris,” said his friend, Sir Michael Burrow.

They said Christopher graduated from high school last May, in the same class as Isabella Gozzo. She was killed in a car crash just this past Saturday.

Related: Vigil held in memory of Cheshire teen killed in accident

Wednesday, Cheshire High School brought in grief counselors and therapy dogs to help students.

“A lot of people were crying,” said Burrow. “A lot people were just trying to get through the day and they went up to guidance if they really needed someone to talk to and they had therapy dogs.”

“He’ll be missed. He’ll be missed,” said Sandt. “I’ll miss seeing him pop up around the park.”

Nineteen-year-old Chris Settembri is survived by three sisters. They are in fifth, seventh and tenth grades in Cheshire schools.

Autopsy results show both the father and son died of gun shot wounds to the head.

“Any death like this is a horrible horrible tragedy,” said Dryfe. “But in the immediate lead up to Christmas, I think it brings it to a head even more.”

The Cheshire High School principal said students have organized a vigil for the Settembri family on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. An informal gathering will be held on the Cheshire High School football field.

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