15-year-old charged in the shooting death of his 11-year-old brother

Summit County Sheriff’s Office had deemed it a ‘tragic accident’ in June 2020.

Fourteen months after an 11-year-old Summit County boy was shot and killed, his older brother has been charged with manslaughter.

At the time of the shooting, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office called it a “tragic accident.” The victim and his 15-year-old brother were given permission to get a BB gun to shoot on the property of their family’s home, according to police, and went inside to get it. A short time later, the boys’ mother heard screaming and went inside the home to find the 11-year-old had been shot with a handgun. Attempts to save his life were unsuccessful.

Three weeks after the shooting, the 15-year-old told police “he decided to get a gun to scare” his brother, according to the charges. He got the handgun from his parents’ bedroom and went to his own bedroom to wait for his brother to come inside. When the 11-year-old “came around the corner,” the 15-year-old said “‘Look.’ He aimed the gun at [the victim] and pressed the trigger down,” according to police.

The 11-year-old was struck by the bullet.

The 15-year-old has been charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, for “recklessly” causing his brother’s death. In adult court, that charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Because the case is currently in the juvenile system, the most serious punishment that the teenager could face is a stay in a locked juvenile facility until he turns 21.