Allegheny County

‘They’re going to live with that:’ 5-year-old shot, killed by 6-year-old sibling at Penn Hills home

PENN HILLS, Pa. — It’s been a difficult week in and around Pittsburgh after two young children and a teenager were all killed in separate accidental shootings.

Around 5:30 p.m. Monday, Allegheny County 911 was notified of a shooting on Prescott Drive. The 5-year-old was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m.

The boy was identified Tuesday morning as Connor Wolfe. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a homicide, and his cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and neck.

Three young children were left unsupervised in a bedroom where an unsecured gun was located, investigators said.

“It’s a ridiculous loss,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told Channel 11.

>> RELATED STORY: Free gun locks available to public from Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

In an effort to prevent another senseless death, Hissrich wants every gun owner to know they can pick up a gun lock for free at zone offices or at police headquarters.

The police department also offered gun locks at several community events, and Hissrich is urging gun owners to make sure they have one.

“Anyone who accepts the responsibility of owning a gun should have the responsibility and common sense to make sure that gun is secure,” Hissrich added.

In fact, the group CeaseFirePA is advocating for a gun storage safety law similar to legislation in other states.

“States have safe firearm storage laws, and we know these laws help reduce the incidents of these tragedies. Pennsylvania is not one of these states that have a safe firearm storage law,” Josh Fleitman with CeaseFirePA told Channel 11.

Meantime, around our city, three families are mourning the loss of their loved ones all because of an unsecured weapon.

“All it really would have taken is to secure the gun, or put a gun lock on, and those individuals might be alive today,” Hissrich said.

“I heard all the sirens and them hollering,” said Alfred and Shari Robinson, who live next door to the home. “Just today they were running around. They were really nice kids. I just feel so bad. I just wish these parents would put those guns up so the kids, they don’t know. They are just here playing, thinking it’s a toy and then this is what happens.”

Wolfe was a kindergarten student in the Penn Hills School District. The district released the following statement Tuesday morning:

“Penn Hills School District confirms the passing of our kindergarten student Connor Wolfe yesterday. We ask all members of our PH community to remember Connor and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Counselors and Social Workers will remain accessible for students and staff who need extra support during this very difficult time.”

Wolfe’s death came less than 12 hours after a 4-year-old was able to get a hold of a gun in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood and accidentally kill himself.

>>STORY: 4-year-old dies after accidentally shooting himself in Pittsburgh