The 22-year-old college student who was fatally shot in Tarrytown on Monday was "examining firearms" in her boyfriend's bedroom when one of the guns went off, police said yesterday. Megan Bookstaver, a Hicksville, Long Island resident, died from a gunshot wound to the head in a townhouse owned by Robert Gaulin, a wealthy entertainment lawyer headquartered in Manhattan. Police say Bookstaver was in the bedroom with boyfriend Eric Gaulin, 25, who lives at home, and a third, unidentified man.
Gaulin, 62, and his wife Patricia were downstairs at the time, and first responders were called to the home at 4:21 p.m. by Mrs. Gaulin. One law enforcement source called the shooting a "tragic mistake," but Bookstaver's death is still being investigated as suspicious. The unidentified man in the room has been questioned, but LoHud.com reports that Eric Gaulin has lawyered up. “We don’t know who was holding [the gun]," a police source adds.
Gaulin and Bookstaver, who attended Mercy College in Westchester, were reportedly gun enthusiasts who frequently went target shooting. Investigators say the gun that killed Bookstaver was a “long gun” that did not have to be registered, but other unregistered guns were found in the home. It is still unclear how the weapon was fired.
Bookstaver's family have not commented on her death, but one Hicksville neighbor tells the Post, “She is such a good girl. I am in utter shock. I can’t believe this. She wasn’t a wild one, she was never any trouble. She was a wonderful girl. She was happy and in love, like any normal girl. I just feel like I’ve lost one of my own."