PENN HILLS, Pa. — New details are coming to light in the tragic death of a 5-year-old Penn Hills boy.
According to police, Connor Wolfe was home with three siblings and no parents, on Nov. 22.
The three youngest children were jumping on a bed in their Prescott Drive home, while the oldest, a 13-year-old boy, asked them to stop. When they ignored him, according to court documents, he reached for his father’s 9mm handgun, which was loaded and unsecured.
The teenager told police he pointed it at Wolfe, believing the safety was still on, in an effort to scare him.
“The 13-year-old was handling the firearm and fired the gun, which resulted in the death of a 5-year-old child,” Allegheny County Inspector Michael Peairs told Channel 11 News.
Police originally believed a 6-year-old sibling was the one who pulled the trigger at the home on Prescott Drive.
The 13-year-old was arraigned Tuesday and charged with homicide as an adult.
The District Attorney’s office explained in a statement, “Pennsylvania law does not permit a charge of criminal homicide to be filed directly in juvenile court.”
The DA’s office said it intends to transfer the case to juvenile court. For that reason, we’ve chosen not to name the teen.
The 13-year-old also faces a charge for possession of a firearm by a minor.
According to online court dockets, he’s due in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 19, 2022.
Allegheny County police said at least one parent will also likely be charged.
“If you have firearms and small children in your home, those firearms should be locked or kept secure,” pleaded Peairs at a news conference Wednesday.
Josh Fleitman, with gun control advocate CeaseFirePA, is lobbying for statewide legislation that calls for the mandatory securing of guns, with possible felony penalties if they get into the wrong hands.
“There are bills in both the House and Senate in Harrisburg that are really quite simple,” he said. “They say ‘when the gun is not being used, when it’s not in direct control or possession of the owner, it’s got to be locked up securely.’”
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