Ava Wood's father bought shotgun 16 days before apparent murder-suicide in Baldwinsville
Sheriff Shelley concluded that law enforcement was never given a reason to arrest Christopher Wood prior to Friday's shooting (Photo: CNY Central)

Christopher Wood purchased the 20-gauge shotgun used in the murder of his 14-year-old daughter Ava Wood on Jan. 4, 2023; 16 days before Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputies found Ava and Christopher dead in their Baldwinsville home, with Christopher dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Sheriff Toby Shelley. 

"I'm in my 29th year of law enforcement; that was one of the most challenging scenes I've walked through," Sheriff Shelley said.

According to the Sheriff, Christopher had never owned a firearm before, at least not one that they were aware of him owning legally. 

He said its impossible to know why exactly he purchased the gun, but the Sheriff told CNY Central other than needing to clean up a few minor details, the investigation is essentially over. Concluding from his perspective, that Christopher shot Ava before turning the gun on himself. 

"We can't put ourselves in his head," Sheriff Shelley said.

Sheriff's Deputies had interacted with Christopher Wood twice before the tragedy on Friday. The first was in March of 2022, when Heather Wood, Christopher's wife and Ava's mother, contacted police after Christopher allegedly stalked her. 

Heather told deputies that he should not have known where she was, but he routinely showed up at her location and repeatedly called her. Heather said that he was trying to keep the relationship together — she didn't want to press charges, but wanted this documented for divorce purposes, according to Sheriff Shelley. 

In the days leading up to the apparent murder-suicide, deputies responded to another complaint from Heather. She said she was receiving calls and text messages from an anonymous number; Christopher told deputies he had also received similar messages, showing officers screenshots. 

Deputies concluded that neither the stalking nor the text messaging , which was still being investigated as of Friday morning when the shooting occurred, indicated the possibility of violence. 

Incident reports referenced by the Sheriff said that Heather told deputies that she didn't feel physically threatened by Christopher, nor did he ever physically harm her. 

We reached out to Heather's family - a person handling media inquiries on her behalf said that they have no comment on whether these incident reports were accurate. 

When asked if Sheriff Shelley felt that law enforcement could have done anything different, Shelley responded "there's nothing."

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