Waynesboro teen jailed in brother’s death

Local man

A Waynesboro teen charged with homicide in the death of his younger brother yesterday is in Franklin County Jail, awaiting a preliminary hearing on homicide charges.

The 13-year-old is charged as an adult in the case, and denied bail. Magisterial District Judge Annie Gomez Shockey justified the bail denial because “he shot his 9-year-old brother.”

Franklin County Free Press is not releasing the teen’s name or mug shot, or names of family members, at this time. The decision is made out of consideration for the tragedy the family are dealing with at thIs time. That could change, or not, in the future depending on circumstances as the case moves through court.

We will provide details from official court records about how the tragedy played out early Wednesday morning.

‘Cops and robbers’ game

The shooting happened during a game of “cops and robbers” while the teen and his brother were alone early Wednesday. The older boy had a gun his father kept in an unsecured console of the couch. He became angry with his younger brother, who was watching videos on a phone instead of participating in the game. So he put the gun to his brother’s head and pulled the trigger.

The above account comes from an affidavit police filed in order to justify the charges. The affidavit is part of the official court documents, and as such a part of the public record.

Franklin County Emergency Services 911 center received a call shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday saying a child at a Waynesboro residence was injured and needed help. Emergency responders rushed to the residence. Waynesboro police were also sent to assist at the scene.

The 9-year-old was bleeding from a head wound and in cardiac arrest when emergency help arrived. A police officer and medic immediately began CPR, and the child was rushed to Waynesboro Hospital, where he later died.

Medical personnel determined he had a bullet wound to the head. He had a contact wound to the back of his head behind his left ear. An exit wound was visible at the top right side of his head, according to court records. The Franklin County Coroner’s office verified the cause of death.

Pennsylvania State Police troopers arrived at the home at 7:15 a.m., interviewing others at the residence.

The investigation

Those interviews eliminated everyone but the 13-year-old as suspects, according to the court documents.

The children’s father told police he keeps two loaded handguns in an unlocked console in the couch in the living room where the shooting took place. The guns were “for home protection,” the father told police.

The 13-year-old was questioned by a state police trooper at Waynesboro police station, where he had been taken following the shooting. His guardian/grandmother was present during the interview.

He told police he had ”some knowledge of handling firearms.” he admitted to being told by his father in the past “to never point a gun at another person.” He admitted he often took the guns out to “practice” without his parents knowledge however.

He shot his brother, he told police, because he was angry the younger boy wasn’t following his orders during the “cops and robbers” game.

Using a search warrant, police recovered a black and silver Smith and Wesson 9mm hand gun from the couch console in the home. Police believe that gun to be the murder weapon. It had blood splatters on the muzzle and a live round in the chamber.

The charges

Charges filed against the teen include first degree homicide and second degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

He is represented by George H. Matangos, a private attorney from Lemoyne, according to court records.

A preliminary hearing is set for July 13 in Franklin County’s Central Court.

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