$5,000 offered for arrest in YMCA killing

Man suspected of gunning down his chidren's mother inside the YMCA
June 27, 2008 4:01:11 PM PDT
The Essex County Sherrif's department is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a man wanted in the fatal shooting of his estranged wife, in front of their children at YMCA swim class. Police say 37-year-old Kenneth Duckett is a murder suspect -- on the run.

Authorities say Duckett and 31-year-old Monica Paul were married and had two children. The two were reportedly in the process of a divorce, since separating in 2007.

Eyewitness News is told Duckett and his estranged wife were arguing in the hallway of the YMCA, while watching their 4-year-old son and the other children at a swimming class.

Then there was mass confusion. Duckett apparently opened fire, hitting Monica Paul, while their 11-year-old daughter was with her near the pool, according to police.

Duckett is said to have fled the scene in a white jeep. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The YMCA was evacuated as armed police searched the building. People could be seen standing in their bathing suits -- while children hid between cars outside the Helen and Bill Geyer YMCA Family Center, located at 159 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair.

Others were brought out to street -- in a tense wait to reunite with their parents.

An older woman, brought to the scene by police, broke down when told that Paul was dead.

Again, police are looking for Kenneth Duckett:

  • He is 37-years-old.
  • He is five feet six, 140 to 150 pounds.
  • He is a brown skinned African American.
  • He has black hair and brown, eyes.

Duckett and Paul had a history of violent conflicts. Police believe Duckett had violated a restraining order.

Although there was only one gunman, police suspect an accomplice may have been waiting in a getaway vehicle, mayers said. He said the gunman and the possible accomplice fled in what appeared to be a jeep.

The apparent getaway vehicle was recovered, abandoned in a nearby town, Dow said. She would not say which town.

If anyone has any information, they can contact the Essex County Homicide Squad at (973) 621-4586 or the Montclair Police Department.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King, Lakisha Bostick


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