Wake held for wife and kids killed in New City murder-suicide
Hundreds of people came by St. Francis of Assisi Church on Thursday evening to pay their final respects to the mother and two boys killed during a shocking murder-suicide in New City on the day before New Year's Eve.
"It's hitting us hard still, and I think it will for a long time," Pomona resident Norma Pomerantz said.
The family of the three victims killed in a tragic murder-suicide last month spoke at Thursday's wake, calling the deaths a tragedy that cut short the lives of three people with their whole lives ahead of them.
They spoke of a woman who came this country in her teens chasing the American dream and two boys full of life.
The family's heartfelt message was in Albanian and translated into English.
"Unfortunately, their bad luck interrupted their big dreams but God is now with them and will take care of them," said one person.
Clarkstown police reported to a New City home early on Saturday, Dec. 30, for a welfare check after Bronxville Police Sgt. Watson Morgan failed to show up for his overnight shift. Authorities found the bodies of Morgan's wife, Ornela, 43 - and their sons Gabriel, 12, and Liam, 10. Investigators said Watson Morgan fatally shot his wife and sons and then turned the weapon on himself.
The Rockland community has rallied around Ornela, Gabriel and Liam in the weeks since the killings.
"Even in such tragedy, there is still more life to be lived," St. Francis of Assisi Rev. Robert McKeon said.
Ornela taught at One World Middle School at Edenwald in the Bronx. Gabriel was a seventh grader at Felix Festa Middle School, and Liam was in fifth grade at Laurel Plains Elementary School in the Clarkstown Central School District.
The kids were involved in religious studies at the St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Nyack, played sports and participated in Boy Scouts.
According to the family, Ornela was born in Albania and moved to Massachusetts in her teens. She still has extended family in both places.
Calling hours will continue on Friday, Jan. 12, at St. Mary's Albanian Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 10 a.m. to noon. All three will be buried at Hope Cemetery in Worcester.
The family is asking for donations to Meals on Wheels Rockland, the 9/11 Foundation or St. Mary's Albanian Church instead of flowers.
The New York Attorney General's Office continues to investigate the incident.