PENN HILLS, Pa. (TCD) -- A husband and wife were charged a month after their 13-year-old son allegedly used his father’s gun to shoot his 5-year-old brother because he was mad at him.
According to Allegheny County Police, on Nov. 22 at approximately 5:33 p.m., Penn Hills Police Department officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Prescott Drive for a shooting call. They found a 5-year-old victim with a gunshot wound and transported him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Penn Hills Police reportedly requested help from the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit and they began a joint investigation.
In their statement, Allegheny County Police learned during their investigation that a "loaded and unsecured handgun" was left in reach of four children, ages 13, 6, 5, and 3. The 13-year-old reportedly pointed the gun at his 5-year-old brother, believing that the safety was on.
The teen was charged with general homicide. According to WTAE-TV, the Allegheny County District Attorney wrote in a statement, "What happened in Penn Hills was an intentional act that resulted in the tragic death of a 5-year-old. The 13-year-old was charged as an adult because Pennsylvania law does not permit a charge of criminal homicide to be filed directly in juvenile court."
According to Trib Live, a 9mm Smith & Wesson belonging to the father, Thomas Wolfe, was found in the master bedroom. The teen reportedly got upset with his siblings because they were jumping on the bed and he wanted them to stop, but they kept jumping.
Trib Live, citing court documents, reports Thomas Wolfe told police he keeps his handgun on top of the safe in the bedroom and it is always loaded. He reportedly uses it as his everyday carry-around gun.
The criminal complaint reportedly said, "Thomas Wolfe always leaves his handgun out."
Thomas Wolfe and his wife Sara Gerwig were both charged with four counts each endangering the welfare of children.