13-Year-Old Charged as an Adult in Brother's Death Over 'Cops and Robbers'

A game of "cops and robbers' between two Pennsylvania brothers turned deadly last week after the older brother fatally shot his younger brother in the head, according to a police statement. Now, the 13-year-old boy is being charged as an adult with criminal homicide and aggravated assault in the death of his 9-year-old brother, court records show.

Cops responded to a Waynesboro home just after 7 a.m. on July 8 and discovered that the 9-year-old had been shot in the head with a 9 mm handgun. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The brothers were playing in the living room of the home early Wednesday when the 13-year-old decided he wanted to play "cops-and-robbers," while the 9-year-old was watching videos on a phone. The teen, who has been identified in other media, but will not be identified here, told police he retrieved a handgun their father stored in an unlocked cabinet in a couch, and knew it was loaded.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by PennLive.com, the handgun was placed against the 9-year-old's head when he was shot. The bullet went through the boy's skull and exited on the right side of his head, according to the report.

The 13-year-old admitted to police that he was angry with his brother because "the victim was not complying with his commands while playing cops and robbers," the responding officer wrote in the affidavit. The teen returned the gun back inside the couch after the shooting. The gun was described as a black and silver handgun, which matched a Smith & Wesson SD-9VE handgun police found inside the couch while executing a search warrant.

The boy's father told police he keeps the two loaded 9 mm handguns in the unlocked cabinet in the living room couch for protection.

The boy also admitted to having some knowledge about the firearms and that his father had told him to never point a gun at another person. He also admitted to "practicing" with the handguns while his parents weren't home, police said.

The teen is due back in court on July 24th.

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