12:37 PM PST, December 28, 2021
The Pennsylvania parents of a 13-year-old boy who shot and killed his 5-year-old brother have been charged with endangering the welfare of children, authorities said.
Arrest warrants were filed Monday for Thomas Wolfe, 35, and Sara Gerwig, 37, after the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against the couple, according to court records provided to Inside Edition Digital.
Wolfe and Gerwig were at home on Nov. 22 when their 5-year-old son, Connor, was shot in the face by his older brother, who pointed a loaded semi-automatic 9mm handgun at the child and pulled trigger, the criminal complaint said. The teen told police investigators his father often left his gun on top of a gun safe located at the foot of his parents’ bed, according to the court document.
The couple’s four children were in the master bedroom, unsupervised, while the father watched television and the mother cooked dinner, the complaint said.
Wolfe acknowledge to investigators that he had left the gun out, and that it was loaded with one round in the chamber, according to the complaint. Wolfe said he carried the weapon everyday when he left the house, authorities said.
Investigators found several gun safes throughout the Penn Hills home, one with trigger locks inside, but none were in use, the complaint said.
The 13-year-old told investigators he had told his sibling to stop jumping on the bed, and when the 5-year-old persisted, he picked up his father’s gun and pulled the trigger, thinking the safety was on, the criminal complaint said. The teen said he was only trying to scare his brother into behaving, authorities said.
The teen was arrested on Dec. 15 and charged with homicide, according to the district attorney’s office. He is being held at a juvenile facility.
The mother told investigators the children had been sleeping in the parents’ bedroom since their electricity stopped working on the second floor, where the children’s bedrooms were located.
The parents face four counts of child endangerment, one for each of their children ranging in age from 13 to 3.