PENN HILLS, Pa. - Authorities in western Pennsylvania say a 13-year-old boy is being charged with homicide in the shooting death of a 5-year-old boy last month, but the case will be transferred to juvenile court to allow a judge to determine "supervision and treatment" of the youth.
Allegheny County police say Penn Hills officers were called to a home just after 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 22. and found the 5-year-old boy with a single gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Police said detectives determined that four children ranging in age from 3 to 13 were left unsupervised while "a loaded and unsecured handgun" was left within reach. Police said the 13-year-old pointed the firearm at the younger child and pulled the trigger "while believing that the safety was on."
County prosecutors said a homicide charge cannot be filed directly in juvenile court, so the older child was charged as an adult — but prosecutors intend to send the case to juvenile court to "allow a judge to decide what is the best course of supervision and treatment for this child."
Police said they are conferring with prosecutors to determine the level of culpability of at least one adult "for which criminal charges are anticipated."