PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A 7-year-old boy was fatally shot in Mercer County Saturday.
It happened around 11 a.m. at the Twigs Reloading Den on Sharon Mercer Road in Lackawannock Township.
Twigs Reloading Den is an outdoor supply shop located off of Route 62.
“I heard a pop, but I was standing right here,” Gladys Mohney with the store said. “… didn’t realize what it was.”
Police say Joseph Loughrey and his son, Craig, had just left the store.
Loughrey was at the shop attempting to sell two hand guns.
When he was leaving, he put the long gun in the back of the truck, while his son climbed into his booster seat on the passenger side.
Loughrey had a .9 mm semi-automatic Tarus in his hand when he got inside.
“He got in the drivers side of the car, had a .9 mm gun in his hand, was setting it in the center console and it discharged, hitting his son in the upper right chest,” Lt. Eric Hermick with the Pennsylvania State Police said.
Police say the boy was buckling himself into his safety seat when the gun went off.
The force was so great, it pushed the boy back and shattered the window behind him.
Police say Loughrey initially started driving away to take his son to the hospital, but stopped, pulled him out and attempted CPR.
Loughrey told police he thought the gun was not loaded.
“Instead of checking it, they’ll pull the magazine out and they will not check the chamber,” Mohney said. “It’s just an unfortunate incident.”
The magazine was empty, but the bullet came from the chamber.
Police say it was most likely an accident, but are still investigating it as a crime scene and reviewing surveillance footage.
An autopsy is set for Craig Loughrey tomorrow morning.
If the father is found negligent, the District Attorney could charge him with manslaughter.
Stay with KDKA for more information.