Death – Parents of Penn Hills teen who shot, killed 5-year-old brother surrender to police

Death – Obituary

The parents of a 13-year-old who allegedly shot and killed his little brother with his father’s unsecured handgun have turned themselves in to police Wednesday, authorities said.

Thomas Wolfe, 35, and Sara Gerwig, 37, both face multiple counts of endangering the welfare of children in connection with the shooting last month in their Penn Hills home.

Allegheny County Police issued a warrant for the couple Monday.

The shooting happened Nov. 22 when their 13-year-old son shot and killed his 5-year-old brother, Connor Wolfe.

The teenager was charged as an adult with homicide Dec. 15, though officials in the District Attorney’s Office noted that he was charged as an adult only because state law does not allow for homicide charges to be filed directly in juvenile court. The teen was arraigned via video and taken immediately to supervised juvenile housing. The case will move to juvenile court, officials said.

The teenager told police Connor and two other children in the home were jumping on his bed and would not listen when he asked them to stop, according to the criminal complaint. He said he retrieved his father’s handgun from his bedroom, telling investigators he knew it was there because his father “always leaves his handgun out,” police wrote.

The teen said he pointed the gun at Connor to scare him and pulled the trigger out of anger, though he said he believed the safety was on, according to the complaint.

The gun was in a holster sitting atop a gun safe at the foot of his parents’ bed, police said the teenager told investigators. Thomas Wolfe confirmed that’s where he’d left the gun, which he keeps loaded with a round in the chamber, according to police.

Gerwig told investigators she’d seen the handgun on top of the safe on Nov. 20, two days before the shooting, and she knew Thomas Wolfe didn’t move it Nov. 21 because he was sick that day.

Police said the couple turned themselves in late Wednesday morning. Court records show both were released on nonmonetary bond. Preliminary hearings for both are scheduled for Jan. 24.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.