Pennsylvania parents charged in case of teen accused of killing brother

The parents of a 13-year-old accused of fatally shooting his 5-year-old brother with their father’s unsecured handgun last month have each been charged with four counts of child endangerment, authorities said.

Thomas Wolfe, 35, and Sara Gerwig, 37, turned themselves in Wednesday, two days after Allegheny County police issued warrants for their arrests. They were released later that day, and it wasn't known Thursday if either one has retained an attorney.

Authorities have said the teen boy shot and killed his younger brother at the family’s home in Penn Hills on Nov. 22. Both parents were home at the time.


The teen has told police his brother and two other children were jumping on his bed and they wouldn't listen when he asked them to stop, authorities have said. The teen retrieved his father’s handgun from his parents' bedroom and pointed it at his brother to scare him, then pulled the trigger while believing the safety was on, authorities have said.

The 5-year-old was shot once in the face. He was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead there a short time later. No other injuries were reported in the shooting.

The teen was charged as an adult with homicide on Dec. 15, because state law does not allow for such charges to be filed directly in juvenile court. The teen remains in a juvenile detention facility, and authorities have said the case will be moved to juvenile court.



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