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UPDATE: 21-Year Old Charged in Firehouse Shooting Death of Pennsylvania Junior Firefighter, 16

Update on junior firefighter shot & killed

A 16-year-old fire explorer with the Republic Volunteer Fire Company in Fayette County, Pennsylvania was shot and killed in a shooting at the firehouse, local media reported. George A. Matis, Jr., 21, was being held in the county jail Sunday night, the Post Gazette reported.

Officers responded to the shooting to find the teen shot in the face, he died at the scene. WPXI said Matis was charged with criminal homicide. He was being held pending a preliminary hearing.

KDKA-TV, the Post-Gazette’s news partner, reported that the two were in the fire station’s business office when Mr. Matis took a pistol from his holster and “caused the pistol to discharge a bullet,” striking the teen in the left cheek, according to a police criminal complaint.Neither Redstone police, the county coroner nor the Republic Volunteer Fire Company could be reached for comment.

Criminal homicide in Pennsylvania is defined as “A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being. Criminal homicide shall be classified as murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.” (Title 18 – Pennsylvania General Assembly)

The firehouse is located in Redstone Township, south of Pittsburgh. According to the department’s Facebook page, numerous members of the Matis family have held ranks at the department in recent years, including George Matis, Sr., listed as an Assistant Chief in 2014.

The department was preparing for the town’s “Light Up Night” event, which was cancelled soon after the shooting.

Condolences poured into the department’s Facebook page Sunday evening, including messages of support from other explorer posts.

WPXI reported that the junior firefighter was a high school sophomore and was with others inside the firehouse when the shooting occurred. WPXI quoted a member of the department that the shooting was believed to be accidental. State police are conducting the investigation and additional details were not immediately available.

The Herald Standard said EMS were dispatched at about 4:02 pm for a report of shots fired.

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