13-year-old charged in fatal shooting of 9-year-old brother over 'cops and robbers'

The boy has been charged as an adult and said he shot his brother because he wasn't "complying with his commands while playing cops and robbers."

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A 13-year-old Pennsylvania boy is being charged as an adult with criminal homicide and aggravated assault after he fatally shot his 9-year-old brother because the boy wouldn't play "cops and robbers" with him, according to police.

Pennsylvania State Police responded to a Waynesboro home just after 7 a.m. on July 8 and found the boy had been shot with a 9 mm handgun, according to a police statement. The boy was pronounced dead at Waynesboro Hospital.

The boy's 13-year-old brother was taken into custody the same day and charged as an adult with criminal homicide and aggravated assault, the statement said.

Court documents filed in Franklin County shows bail was denied shortly after the 13-year-old was taken into custody. The teen is next due in court on July 24.

George H. Matangos, who is representing the teen, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

An arrest affidavit obtained by PennLive.com said the teen placed the call to police saying someone had fallen. Responders found the 9-year-old bleeding from his head and in cardiac arrest.

Investigators determined the handgun was placed against the child's head when he was shot, according to the affidavit. The bullet went through the boy's skull and exited on the right side of his head.

The 13-year-old admitted that he shot his brother and that he knew there was a round in the gun, the affidavit said. He said he took out the gun because he wanted to play cops and robbers with his brother, who was watching videos on a cellphone. He said "he did this because the victim was not complying with his commands while playing cops and robbers. He admitted to being angry with the victim for not listening to him,” the responding officer wrote in the affidavit.

The boys' father told police he keeps two loaded 9 mm handguns in an unlocked console of a living room couch.