GRINDSTONE, Pa. (AP) – The defense attorney for a 21-year-old fire captain charged with fatally shooting a junior firefighter at a Pennsylvania fire station says it was a “terrible accident” involving two friends.
Attorney James Davis represents George Matis Jr., of Republic, who remains jailed on homicide and endangerment charges in the Sunday shooting of 16-year-old Parker Hess at the Republic Volunteer Fire Company.
State police say Hess was shot when Matis removed his gun from a holster and it fired, striking Hess in the cheek. Police haven’t said whether the shooting was accidental, but Davis believes it was.
Davis says “Mr. Matis is distraught over all this” and says his family offers its “heartfelt sympathies” to Hess’ family.
The homicide charge Matis faces allows prosecutors to pursue a murder conviction, but also manslaughter, for an accidental or reckless shooting.
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