The 17-year-old adopted son of a prominent New Jersey doctor has been accused of stabbing to death his sister with a kitchen knife during an argument on Thursday evening.
Travis Gallo allegedly stabbed Teia Gallo, 20, multiple times in front of another sibling in their Pershing Ave, Washington Township, home about 5.30pm.
‘There are two lives lost,’ father Dr. Robert Gallo said. ‘It’s a tragedy.’
Devastating: Travis Gallo, 17 (right) is accused of stabbing to death his sister Teia Gallo, left
Travis was charged with murder as a juvenile yesterday during a closed hearing in Superior Court in Hackensack, with authorities deciding whether to charge him as an adult, NorthJersey.com reported.
The shocking news has devastated the tight-knit family, with Dr. Gallo saying he didn’t know what sparked the argument.
‘She was a loving kid. She was adored by my grandchildren, by her sisters and brothers,’ the Hackensack gynecologist told NorthJersey.com.
‘My family is devastated….We’re a very strong family. There’s a lot of love and a lot of hugging, and we will get through this. We will weather this storm.’
‘We still have a lot of unanswered questions,’ he told The New York Post.
Dr. Gallo has 12 children with his wife, Theresa – three adopted, including Travis and Teia, and nine biological.
The big-hearted doctor took Travis in at age three for what was supposed to be a temporary arrangement until he could find him a permanent home. But Gallo grew attached to Travis and decided to keep him permanently.
The couple also adopted Teia and Destiny, who were sisters.
The family said the children were close and got along, with the adopted children never feeling out of place.
However close friends of Teia say the young woman’s relationship with Travis was strained.
Friend Jennifer O’Connor told NorthJersey.com Teia, a Paramus Catholic High School graduate, thought her brother was becoming increasingly aggressive.
She said Teia, who attended nearby Dominican College where she was a junior, hoped next year to move into a dorm room on the Orangeburg, N.Y., campus, to get away from Travis.
‘It was getting bad,’ O’Connor said. ‘She wanted to live on campus next year to get away from his anger.’
Tough times: Friends of Teia Gallo (pictured left, and right with her partner) say the young woman had a strained relationship with her brother Travis
However Teia’s parents don’t believe their daughter’s desire to move was because of Travis.
‘There were times when they didn’t get along, but our idea wasn’t to separate them,’ Dr. Gallo said.
‘Most kids, they have altercations every once in a while. But we never had the sense that it would get to this.’
Until last year Travis attended Westwood Regional High School, where he took special education classes and played on the football team.
Dr. Gallo said was being home-schooled after getting bullied by other students at school.
District officials offered to let Travis leave school, and send teachers to his house to complete his coursework.
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