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MERCER, Pa.--Pennsylvania State Police in Mercer are continuing their investigation into the death of a seven-year-old boy fatally shot by his father's gun.
Forty-four-year-old Joseph Loughrey and his seven-year-old son Craig Loughrey of Fredonia were getting into a truck after making a stop at Twig's Reloading Den on Route 62 in Mercer on Saturday morning when the shooting happened.
Investigators say Joseph Loughrey placed his handgun in the center console of his truck and that's when it accidentally fired striking his son in the chest.
The second grader at Reynolds Elementary School in Greenville was sitting in his booster seat. He died at the scene.
Lawrence County's former district attorney, Matthew Mangino, says the Mercer County district attorney has a tough decision on his hands and that is whether or not to hold a father responsible for the death of his own son.
"A lot of lessons we learn in life. We learn because of very tragic circumstances and I can't imagine what a father would be going through who suffered this kind of tragedy," Attorney Mangino says.
But there are a number of things investigators and the Mercer District Attorney will likely consider in this case.
"Certainly looking at the handling of the gun; was the father licensed to carry a weapon? Was he licensed to carry a concealed weapon? Was he eligible to carry a weapon? Those are all different things you would look at," Mangino said.
If the district attorney in Mercer chooses to pursue charges, they could also include involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child or reckless endangering.
Mangino says, "No matter how you look at it, it's a tragic situation. It's going to be a very difficult decision. How do you hold a parent any more accountable for their conduct than the result in this case? He lost his son."
Michael Gargiulo, Pretrial Hearing 45
3 weeks ago