MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) – Police are investigating after a 13-year-old male was shot and killed by another teen in Westmoreland County Sunday night.
The single gunshot was fired just before 7 p.m. Sunday at an apartment on South Church Street in Mount Pleasant.
When police arrived, they found 13-year-old James Robert Gustafson dead in the kitchen with a gunshot wound to the face.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old John Burnsworth has been charged in the shooting. Just before 1 a.m., he went before a judge for a preliminary arraignment.
Mount Pleasant Borough Police have charged the teen with criminal homicide and weapons violations.
Burnsworth allegedly told police he was playing with the gun when it went off and he shot his friend. The gun was reportedly hidden between some mattresses, the magazine was taken out and the kids thought that the gun was unloaded.
“My kids have played with his kids for a while. Never had any kind of trouble like that at all. Very sad,” Scott Radford said.
Little information has been released and confirmed by police about how the teens got the gun and who the owner is.
Relatives said that a volunteer firefighter lives in the apartment with his children, and that the kids were also questioned last night.
It is not believed that either of the two teens lived at the home where the shooting happened.
“Broken hearted, I feel the children are victims. Both children are victims,” Kathleen Ceroni said.
People who knew Gustafson say that he wanted to apply to be a junior firefighter when he turned 14, and that he always had a smile on his face. He will be posthumously awarded honorary status as a firefighter in Mount Pleasant’s volunteer fire department.
At this time, it does not appear that any adults are facing charges.
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